Statistics Canada says Canada added a surprisingly strong 50,700 jobs last month, with most of the gains from full-time work and in the private sector.
The result easily beat market expectations for a modest 8,000 gain following January’s disappointing performance, when the economy shed 21,900 workers.
Despite the increase, the Canadian unemployment rate stayed stubbornly fixed at seven per cent because there were even more Canadians who actively looked for work in February, a good signal for the economy.
For the last 12 months, Canada has added 336,000 new jobs, most of them full-time.
Statistics Canada says February’s gains came primarily in the scientific and technical services sector, as well as accommodation and food services, public administration and agriculture.
The major disappointment was manufacturing, which dropped 25,600 workers in February following a similar loss in January.
Regionally, Statistics Canada says Ontario was the biggest generator of new jobs, adding 35,300, followed by British Columbia with an increase of 19,800. Quebec had the biggest drop in employment, shedding 13,100 jobs.