Canada adds 13,800 jobs in May; unemployment at 10-month low
By Leah Schnurr
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada added far more jobs than expected in May as hiring picked up in construction and manufacturing, although a drop in the unemployment rate to a 10-month low stemmed from fewer people looking for work.
Statistics Canada data released on Friday showed an increase of 13,800 positions last month, topping economists' forecasts for a gain of just 3,800 jobs.
Economists said that although the report was encouraging, the Bank of Canada was likely to remain cautious, with the full impact of the wildfires in Alberta still unknown. The report can also be volatile from one month to another.
"In the face of uncertainty, I think it is just an environment of staying on the sidelines," said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada.
The central bank cut interest rates twice last year to combat the oil shock and is seen on hold until into 2017.
Construction jobs rose by 18,600, and manufacturers added 12,200 positions. Analysts have been looking for a pickup in both industries to offset the drag from the resource sector due to cheaper oil prices.
The "other services" category, which includes civic and professional organizations, added 23,900 positions.
The Canadian dollar strengthened against the greenback immediately following the report. Continued...