Canada’s economy added 32,000 new jobs in March, but the jobless rate remained steady at 5.8 per cent.
Economists had been expecting Statistics Canada to announce around 20,000 new jobs.
Despite the increase in jobs, the unemployment rate stayed the same because about 30,000 more people were looking for work, too. “Simply put, there were as many new job seekers as new job getters,” as Scotiabank economist Derek Holt put it.
The federal data agency also said Friday that the economy added more than 68,000 full-time jobs last month, but more than 35,000 part-time jobs were eliminated.
Most of the new jobs were added in Quebec and Saskatchewan, while there was little change in the other provinces, Statistics Canada said.
The March figures are the second modest monthly gain in a row, after a large drop in January.
The numbers mean Canada’s economy has lost 40,000 jobs over the first three months of 2018, but over the longer term, the job market has added 296,000 jobs since March 2017.
The Canadian dollar, which was sliding prior to the numbers coming out, jumped up by about half a cent in the aftermath and was changing hands at 78.42 cents US at midmorning.