Western Alberta unemployment rate increases to 5.1 per cent

Unemployment rate

Unemployment rate

At 4:04 p.m. (2104 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.4 percent higher at 1.3405 to the greenback, or 74.60 USA cents.

What happened: B.C. adds 3,600 jobs in February; unemployment rate falls 0.2 percentage points to 4.5 per cent.

The breakdown in the numbers was also positive, with 67,400 new full-time jobs offsetting a loss of 11,600 part-time positions.

Canada's February surge followed an even bigger gain of 66,800 positions in January.

This is the best month for jobs since 2012, and this strong February comes after an even stronger January.

The nation as a whole added 55,900 jobs while the unemployment rate remained static at 5.8 per cent as more people entered the workforce.

Alberta's employment level was mostly unchanged from January and last February, but the agency says the number of people looking for work has increased, pushing the provincial unemployment rate up to 7.3 percent.

Job growth in professional, scientific and technical services led employment growth, up by 18,000 jobs in February and increasing notably for the third time in four months. "Our investments in infrastructure and services will generate tens of thousands of good jobs". In a speech on Thursday, central bank deputy governor Lynn Patterson highlighted Canada's strong employment numbers as one bright spot in a mixed bag of economic data.

According to BC Stats, the province saw job gains in fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas, up 2,500 jobs, and in retail and wholesale trade, up 3,500 jobs.

The much-stronger-than-expected labor market is the only thing giving policy makers comfort amid a run of bleak data in recent months.

"We're going to continue to do stuff like this to generate more employment, to continue to invest in infrastructure generally and continue to fight to get the pipeline to tidewater in order to build that level of investor confidence that will move us forward".

Younger Canadians again enjoyed the bulk of the gains, as 15-25 year olds saw a 28.6k net increase, which helped bring their unemployment down 0.4p.p.to 10.8%.

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