WRAPUP 3-Canada's May jobs blowout sparks hopes, caution

Fri Jun 7, 2013 12:58pm 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 one month, well above the 175,000 workers hired there last month.

But Canada's monthly figures are always volatile, given the complications of conducting a survey of households to determine how many jobs have been created, and many analysts prefer to focus on a six-month average.

Canada's unemployment rate ticked down to 7.1 percent in May from 7.2 percent, Statistics Canada said in its report on Friday. The construction sector accounted for nearly half of the May hiring, pointing to the strength of Canada's heated housing sector, and analysts doubted that would last.   Continued...