Ottawa, ON — Employment increased by an estimated 29,000 in April 2005 following modest job growth over the previous five months, Statistics Canada reports. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 6.8%, the lowest since December 2000.
So far in 2005, employment has risen by 0.3% (+55,000). In contrast, the number of hours worked grew by 1.4% over the first four months of the year, boosted by a strong increase in full-time work in April.
There were 17,000 more women aged 25 and over working in April, as an increase of 52,000 full-time jobs was partly offset by a decline in part time. The overall gain for adult women in April brings the total increase since the start of the year to 41,000 (+0.6%), all full time. Their unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points in April to 5.5%.
Employment among adult men held steady in April and is up 44,000 (+0.6%) over the first four months of the year, similar to the growth for adult women.
Youth employment was unchanged in April, leaving losses over the first four months of the year at 30,000 (-1.2%), all in full-time jobs.
Weakness in manufacturing continued in April as the number of factory jobs dropped by 29,000, with losses concentrated in Quebec and Alberta. Compared to 12 months ago, employment in manufacturing is down 3.1% (-72,000). In the April Business Conditions Survey, manufacturers identified a number of impediments to production, including the high value of the Canadian dollar and inexpensive foreign imports.