FILE PHOTO: A help wanted sign at a store along Queen Street West in Toronto Ontario, Canada June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
OTTAWA (Reuters) -The Canadian economy gained a net 21,800 jobs in February, exceeding analyst forecasts, while the jobless rate also unexpectedly held steady at 5.0%, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a net gain of 10,000 jobs and for the unemployment rate to edge up to 5.1%.
February’s job additions were led by industries including health care and social assistance and public administration, while fewer people worked in business, building and support services, Statscan said.
The Bank of Canada, which left its key overnight interest rate on hold on Wednesday, is watching economic data to assess whether it can keep its monetary tightening campaign suspended. The bank has pointed previously to challenges stemming from labor market tightness in its effort to tame high inflation.
The average hourly wage for permanent employees rose 5.4% in February on a year-over-year basis, up from 4.5% in January.
The services sector added a net 4,200 jobs, helped by the gains in health care and public administration, while employment in the goods sector increased by a net 17,500 jobs, led by utilities and manufacturing sectors.
The Canadian dollar strengthened to 1.3787 per U.S. dollar after jobs data, up 0.3% on the day.