08 April, 2019
Following two consecutive monthly increases, employment in Ontario held steady in March, down by 8,800, hampered by a loss of 11,600 full-time jobs; the unemployment rate in the province rose to 5.9% in March from 5.7% in February.
However, the Labour Participation Rate also increased from 62.1 per cent in February to 62.9 per cent in March, a sign that more people were looking for work. The end of a six month streak of job gains is sure to catch headlines, but given the strength we've seen over the past half year, a flat report isn't really surprising and indeed makes some sense given the relatively modest performance of other economic indicators in recent months.
"So after a run of six consecutive employment gains, in which almost 300K jobs were added to the total, it was little surprise to see a modest give-back of 7K in March".
"Today's report suggests that the labor market remains healthy, which should ease recession concerns and curb expectations of a Fed rate cut for the moment", he said.
Construction showed little change in March (up 16,000) but has increased by 246,000 over the past 12 months.
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Last week's applications for unemployment benefits came in at 202,000, the lowest level in almost 50 years.
The United States economy added 196,000 jobs in the month of March, according to the Department of Labor. Adding, "The labor market fell right back into step with where we were, not only with positive job numbers but with exceeded forecasts". Employment growth averaged 180,000 per month in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 223,000 per month in 2018.
The BLS jobs report comes following an ADP/Moody's report earlier this week which revealed that private payrolls increased by just 129,000 for the month, below estimates of 175,000.
Health care added 49,000 jobs in March and 398,000 over the past 12 months. This was offset by gains in architecture, engineering and management services. Within the industry, employment in motor vehicles and parts declined in March (down 6,000). With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 14,000 more than previously reported.