UPDATE 3-Canada recovers some of March's big job losses in April

Fri May 10, 2013 12:47pm EDT
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* Employment up 12,500 in April after 54,500 loss in March

* Jobless rate stays at 7.2 pct; had been 7.0 pct in Feb

* Full-time jobs +36,000; public sector +34,200

* Employment data has large margin of error

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA, May 10 (Reuters) - Canada gained a modest 12,500 new jobs in April and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.2 percent, Statistics Canada reported on Friday, the latest sign the economy is on track for only tepid growth in the second quarter.

The increase in hiring, slightly lower than forecast, meant Canada recovered just some of the 54,500 jobs estimated to have been lost in March, making it unlikely the central bank will act anytime soon on its threat to eventually raise interest rates.

"This is pretty consistent with an economy that has been growing below potential, and we're not looking for any move from the Bank of Canada until the second half of 2014, so this wouldn't change any of that," said BMO Capital Markets senior economist Robert Kavcic.

The median forecast in a Reuters survey of economists was for 15,000 new jobs in April and a 7.2 percent jobless rate. The unemployment rate had risen to that level in March from 7.0 percent in February.   Continued...