Canada Adds 3,200 Jobs in April, Jobless Rate Falls to 6.5%

By Paul Vieira Features Dow Jones Newswires

Employment growth in Canada decelerated in April while the jobless rate fell to its lowest level in nearly nine years as fewer people, in particular younger people, looked for work.

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Meanwhile, the average hourly wage paid to Canadian workers rose at its slowest pace on record in April versus a year ago. The Bank of Canada has flagged subdued wage growth as a source of concern and a sign the economy has more room to grow before it hits its potential.

The Canadian economy added a net 3,200 jobs last month, Statistics Canada said Friday. Market expectations were for a gain of 10,000 positions, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada. April marked the fifth straight month that Canadian employment rose.

The country's unemployment rate fell to 6.5% in April from 6.7% in the previous month, or the lowest level since October, 2008. The data agency attributed the fall in the unemployment rate to 45,500 people leaving the labor force, or the biggest such decline in nearly two decades. The April drop also largely reversed a labor-force gain in the previous month of 47,000.

Average hourly wages rose 0.7% from a year ago. The data agency said this was the slowest annual increase dating back to 1997, or when Statistics Canada started to collect wage figures for its closely-watched labor force survey.

Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 05, 2017 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)