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Statistics Canada says it is probing leak of April jobs data

OTTAWA, May 8 (Reuters) - Statistics Canada said on Friday it was probing the leak of highly anticipated employment data for April, which showed job losses caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns were lower than markets had forecast.

The data was supposed to be released on the Statscan website at 8:30 am Eastern Time (1230 GMT). The Bloomberg financial agency accurately reported the main numbers at about 8 am.

“We will investigate the incident and take appropriate action going forward,” Statscan assistant chief statistician Jacques Fauteux said in a statement. Data leaks of this magnitude are virtually unheard of in Canada.

In previous years, details of the jobs data were provided under embargo to a handful of government officials.

The office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not immediately respond to a question as to whether this was still the practice. A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau promised to respond later in the day. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by David Gregorio)