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Manitoba economy sheds 1,800 jobs

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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba economy shed nearly 2,000 jobs last month, bucking a trend which saw employment gains in seven other provinces and a surprisingly strong job-creation performance nationally.

Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey results released today show there were 1,800 fewer people working in Manitoba in April than in March — 629,600 versus 631,400. And 1,400 of the losses were full-time positions.

However, because nearly 2,000 workers also left the labour force in April, the province’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3 per cent. That was the third lowest provincial jobless rate after Alberta and Saskatchewan, which were both at 4.9 per cent.

The other two provinces to see a minor drop in employment levels were Nova Scotia and Ontario.

Nationally, Canada’s economy surprised again in April, turning out another stellar month of employment growth, adding 58,200 jobs as Canadians found work in most regions of the country and in most goods-producing industries.

Still, the unemployment rate edged up one-tenth of a point to 7.3 per cent. But that was because even more people went looking for work last month.

The big gains followed a stunning 82,000 increase in March. It changes the picture for Canada’s labour market, which prior to March had been mostly stagnant since the summer.

And if confirmed in subsequent months, it might give Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney one more reason to carry through on his signal last month that the time for modestly raising interest rates was approaching.

Following March’s mammoth gains, analysts had expected only modest movement in employment this month. Instead, April turned out to be almost as strong, and even stronger in the details.

And unlike the previous month, when most of the new jobs were concentrated in Central Canada.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

— with filed by The Canadian Press

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