Economy

April jobs report from U.S. Department of Labor

April jobs report from U.S. Department of Labor

Stats Canada says the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent in April, from 5.2 per cent in March. There was a decline in the participation rate to 65.6% from 65.9%.

The report adds to evidence that economic growth is rebounding in the current April-June quarter, with some economists forecasting that it could top a 3 percent annual rate, compared with the first quarter's 0.7 percent rate. In fact, unemployment is at a ten year low. Job gains in line with expectations would support the Fed's contention that the pedestrian 0.7 percent annualized economic growth pace in the first quarter was likely "transitory", and its optimism that economic activity would expand at a "moderate" pace. At 4.4 percent, the rate is now lower than the level the Federal Reserve targeted for the long term.

April's legal services employment figures follow reports of recent staff cuts at global legal giant Dentons. The U-6 has seen significant improvement in that time, but still remains higher than before the recession.

The pace of hiring picked up again in April and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in almost a decade, providing reassurance the broader economy is poised for a strong spring after a lackluster start to the year. For historical perspective, wage gains have averaged 2.7 per cent over the past decade. A government report last week showed private sector wages recorded their biggest gain in 10 years in the first quarter.

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"Labor market conditions remain robust and continue to tighten", Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies LLC in NY, told Bloomberg. That could also push up wages.

There was also a small decline in manufacturing jobs on the month. That combined with a snowstorm in the Northeast to chill hiring in the sector in March, contributing to the lackluster job growth.

Ottawa-Gatineau's unemployment rate rose slightly in April after the region shed about 2,200 jobs from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada figures released Friday.

The leisure and hospitality industry registered a 55,000 increase in jobs, education and health services was up 41,000, while finance rose by 19,000.

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Retail payrolls gained 6,300 after two straight months of declines.

Meanwhile, retailers have been slashing jobs as shopping has shifted with less traffic in brick and mortar traditional stores and much more online.

The rate reduction was fostered by an 211,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls.

Other labour market measures also showed strength last month.

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United States transportation and logistics companies added another 3,500 jobs for the month in April 2017, according to the latest preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


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