BUSINESS
03/06/2020 09:17 EST | Updated 03/06/2020 09:32 EST

Canada Adds 30,000 Jobs In February, But Unemployment Jumps In Ontario, B.C.

Quebec clocked its lowest-ever jobless rate on record, and youth made headway in the labour market as well.

Pat Lauzon via Getty Images
In this stock photo, pedestrians walk along Saint Paul Street in Old Montreal. The province of Quebec had Canada's strongest job market in February, Statistics Canada data shows.

The country added 30,000 net new jobs in February, Statistics Canada said Friday morning in a report that showed the coronavirus outbreak has had only limited impact on Canada’s economy so far.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.6 per cent, from 5.5 per cent in January, as slightly more people entered the workforce than found work.

Much of the job growth was concentrated in Quebec, while British Columbia and Ontario shed a small number of jobs, and saw significant increases in their jobless rates.

Watch: Canada’s most in-demand jobs in 2020, according to Indeed. Story continues below.

 

Ontario’s unemployment rate rose to 5.5 per cent, from 5.2 per cent a month earlier, as the province lost 3,200 jobs.

British Columbia lost 6,500 jobs in February, and its unemployment rate jumped to 5 per cent, from 4.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, “employment in Quebec increased for a third consecutive month, up by 20,000 in February,” Statistics Canada said. “The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 4.5 per cent, the lowest rate in the province since comparable data became available in 1976.”

Despite falling oil prices to start the year, Alberta added 11,000 jobs, most of them among youth, StatCan said. The jobless rate there fell one notch, to 7.2 per cent.

Employment was largely unchanged in other provinces, StatCan’s data showed.

Youth had a particularly good month, the data showed, with more than two-thirds of the net job growth ― some 22,000 jobs ― going to this group. But with more young people entering the workforce, the youth jobless rate didn’t budge, at 10.3 per cent.