Employment prospects better in February

Help-wanted index jumps 10 per cent

The Conference Board of Canada says the country’s employment prospects are picking up after going through a two-month soft patch.

The think-tank says its help-wanted index for January jumped a strong 10 per cent, with 25 of 27 metro areas posting increases.

The forward looking index suggests that Canada returned to positive job growth in February after shedding 22,000 workers in January.

Not surprisingly, the Conference Board research shows labour markets remain tightest in the West — particularly in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton — four cities that have posted strong economic growth over the last few years.

The softness in the labour market at the start the year is in keeping with what economists have said were weak economic conditions at the end of 2012.

In a separate report, Statistics Canada says weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees averaged $908 in December, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the previous month.




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