WRAPUP 2-Canada's May jobs blowout sparks hopes, caution

Fri Jun 7, 2013 12:07pm EDT
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* May job gains 2nd biggest since data series began in 1976

* Monthly data volatile, six-month trend shows modest gains

* Scandal-plagued government touts jobs record, warns of global woes

* Labor productivity grows 0.2 pct in first quarter

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, June 7 (Reuters) - Canada's economy churned out a spectacular 95,000 jobs in May, the second-biggest gain in 37 years, according to an official report that raised hopes the economy is gaining momentum, but was also taken with a grain of salt.

The gain would be the equivalent of the far larger U.S. economy creating nearly 900,000 jobs in a single month, well above the still-decent 175,000 workers hired there last month.

Canada's unemployment rate ticked down to 7.1 percent from 7.2 percent, Statistics Canada said in its report on Friday.

The data handily beat market expectations for 15,000 new jobs, but it changes little for the Bank of Canada, which is expected to keep interest rates on hold at their current low levels until late 2014.   Continued...