9 april 2010

The job gains indicate slow but steady improvements in the labour market. In the past six months employers have added to payrolls. March’s employment gains bring the general increase to 176,000 (since July).

The latest numbers “still can’t show any signs of booming job market, but are consistent with a steadily recovering labour picture,” said Meny Grauman, economist at CIBC World Markets

Last month the economy shed 14,200 full-time jobs. In the same time 32,200 part-time positions were created. In the previous month full-time jobs drove the gains (actually, due to Olympic-related hiring).

The Canadian dollar weakened, trading at 99.33 cents (U.S.), just when employers added fewer jobs than anticipated. It’s the first major economic release that has to disappoint people – economists had expected 26,000 new jobs to be added and the unemployment rate to fall to 8.1%.

The overall picture still shows a slow recovering, with the Bank of Canada still expected to hike the overnight lending rate this summer or maybe even sooner.

“The development of labour market in first quarter is connected with the building momentum in the economic expansion,” said Dawn Desjardins, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada, She still expects the key rate to increase in the second half of the year and reach the level of 1.25% (from today’s record low of 0.25%).

Canadian bond prices rose right after the report, moving in one direction with U.S. Treasuries. It also found some support in Europe.

“The advantage of the bond market is that it doesn’t have to wait for the Bank of Canada to start acting. The market was starting to put some odds on a June hike that this report does not provide any support for,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets.

Professional, scientific and technical services, construction and natural resources became more popular in the labour market. Declines were tallied in business and other support services, including transportation and warehousing.







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