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.
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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.