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Canada's monthly job growth exceeds United States, stifles rate cut calls

Canada's monthly job growth exceeds United States, stifles rate cut calls

The jobs mix was generally good, with full-time employment strongly in the driver's seat. "I think the Bank is pretty much on hold and this shows the economy has some underlying resilience", he said, adding a rate cut was unlikely "any time soon".

Statistics Canada also reported that participation by women in the workforce was up.

Only Red Deer at 4.7 per cent had a lower unemployment rate among this province's regions. For the third time in four months, the number of positions increased notably.

The jobless rate, meanwhile, stayed flat at 5.8 per cent despite the job surge because more people were looking for work, too.

This is the best month for jobs since 2012, and this strong February comes after an even stronger January.

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By region, Ontario saw the biggest employment increase last month with the addition of 36,900 jobs. "This is a very strong indication of employer confidence, to create that many full-time jobs", said Derek Holt, vice president of capital markets economics at Scotiabank.

More young Canadians, between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, found work last month as youth employment gained 28,600 positions.

The Bank of Canada keeps close watch of several wage indicators ahead of policy decisions on its key interest rate. Annual average hourly gains accelerated to 2.3 percent in February from 2 percent a month earlier, with pay for permanent employees up 2.2 percent, from 1.8 percent previously. In particular, the central bank focuses on a reading called "wage common", which incorporates payroll data from several sources, not just from the labour force survey.

Bank of Canada deputy governor Lynn Patterson said Thursday that she expected economic growth to build fresh momentum in the second half of the year, thanks in large part to the still-strong employment conditions and improving wages.

According to BC Stats, the province saw job gains in fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas, up 2,500 jobs, and in retail and wholesale trade, up 3,500 jobs. National employment in this industry rose by 6.8% year over year, up by 97,000 jobs.

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