UPDATE 3-Canada surprises with April jobs loss; trails U.S. employment pace

Fri May 9, 2014 11:07am EDT
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* Job losses of 28,900 versus forecast of 12,000 gain

* Unemployment rate steady at 6.9 pct

* Q2 growth seen softer, rates on hold (Adds reasons for job losses, U.S. comparison, background and Bank of Canada stance)

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, May 9 (Reuters) - Canada's economy lost 28,900 jobs in April, Statistics Canada said on Friday in a report that revealed across-the-board weakness in a labor market that is stalled and has been adding jobs at a more sluggish pace than in the United States.

The report suggests economic growth has not been gathering the speed that was expected in the second quarter and that business confidence is still shaky. That reinforces the view that the Bank of Canada is unlikely to raise its main interest rate until the second half of 2015.

"It suggests that maybe we're starting the second quarter on a softer footing than initially believed. There's really no silver lining in this report," said Mazen Issa, senior strategist at TD Securities.

The biggest losses were in the accommodation and food services industries, followed by finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. All the job losses were in full-time positions and the majority were in the private sector.

Market players had forecast, on average, 12,000 net new jobs in April following a big gain of 42,900 in March.   Continued...