April 2019 unemployment numbers released

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The national unemployment rate was 5.7 per cent.

The labour market has seen strong employment numbers since mid-2016 and has remained a bright spot for an economy that has struggled in other areas - to the point it nearly stalled over the winter.

One year ago in April, Medicine Hat's unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent.

Canada's economy posted record job gains in April, along with a pick-up in wages, in the strongest sign yet the nation's economy has emerged from a soft patch. Canadian wages rose 2.5 percent year-on-year in April, the quickest gain since last September, while total hours worked also increased by 1.3 percent - despite the lingering softness in labour productivity.

Exporters showed across-the-board resiliency in March, after shipments tumbled in February. It was largely due to a drop in oil prices, instability in housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, and uncertainties around global trade.

The gains were broad-based - across industries, regions and demographics - and there were hardly any weaknesses in the report. There were 83.8k jobs created in the private sector while 22.7k were added in the public sector - the majority of those being full-time positions.

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Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for all employees in April was 2.5 per cent, up from a reading of 2.4 per cent in March.

Overall, compared with March, employment in April was up 0.6 per cent, which was the highest proportional monthly expansion since 1994 when it reached 0.7 per cent.

Over the past year, Canada has created 426,400 jobs, the biggest one-year gain since 2007; nearly a quarter of these were added last month alone. The number of people in the labour force jumped by 108,100 in April, also a one-month record. Of those jobs, almost 25,000 were in Alberta.

Late last month, the Bank of Canada held interest rates steady and removed wording around the need for future hikes, while lowering its growth forecast for 2019, to cement the market's view that further increases are off the table for now.

Employment was up in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island. CPI inflation pressures still look quite benign and wage growth isn't at a rate yet that would make the central bank anxious about prices starting to move unsustainably higher.

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