Canada’s job numbers almost unchanged in March, while unemployment rose to 6.1%

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The Canadian economy lost 2,200 jobs in March while the unemployment rate rose to 6.1 per cent, as more people looked for work and job growth ground to a halt, Statistics Canada said Friday.

That’s up from 5.8 per cent in February and marks the largest increase in the unemployment rate since summer 2022.

The federal agency’s labour force survey shows employment was little changed last month, with jobs shed after modest increases over the last several months.

Job losses were concentrated in accommodation and food services, as well as wholesale and retail trade, and professional, scientific and technical services.

Meanwhile, employment increased in four industries, led by health care and social assistance.

Statistics Canada says the increase in the jobless rate was driven by an increase of 60,000 people searching for work or temporarily laid off.

Average hourly wages rose 5.1 per cent in March, to $34.81 on a year-over-year basis, after five per cent growth in February.



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