Ontario job market remains on pause

Employment in Canada hit the pause button in April, with job losses in Alberta offset by gains in British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick.

The unemployment rate remained at 7.1 per cent unchanged from March.

Ontario employment remained virtually unchanged, with a loss of about 3,000 jobs.

However, that masked a shift between full-time and part-time jobs — with a drop of 24,000 full-time jobs and a gain of 17,000 part-time jobs in Ontario. (Both of these shifts were less than the standard error).

Although Ontario employment grew by 1.4% over the past 12 months, underlying weakness remains.

Goods producing employment is down by about 23,000 jobs.

It was the second consecutive month registering small losses in manufacturing employment — down 5,700 jobs this month.

Construction employment dropped more sharply, with a loss of 12,300 jobs.

Service sector jobs saw an increase of 20,000. Within this sector, there were gains in wholesale and retail trade as well as in accommodation and food services. These were offset by job losses in business, building, and other support services and in educational services.

Ontario jobs by the numbers:

Unemployment rate = 7.0% (up from 6.8 per cent in April 2015)
Employment rate = 60.8% (up from from 60.7 in April 2015)
Job creation = 67,000 full time jobs from April 2015 to April 2016; 28,700 part-time jobs
Youth unemployment rate = 14.8% (down from 15.3 in April 2015)

Sheila Block is a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Ontario office. Follow Sheila on Twitter:  @SheilaBlockTO

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