Canada's unemployment rate falls to 6.5 per cent

However, wages saw the slowest year-over-year growth since 1997



OTTAWA – The unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level since the country was within the grips of the global financial crisis, but wage growth stalled to its weakest in more than two decades.

Statistics Canada says hourly wages expanded by 0.7 per cent in April, the slowest year-over-year growth since it started collecting that data in January 1997.

The federal agency also found that the unemployment rate fell to 6.5 per cent last month, its lowest level since October 2008 as fewer youth searched for work.

Statistics Canada says the drop in youth participation helped push the jobless rate down by 0.2 percentage points even though overall employment was almost unchanged.

The unemployment rate was 0.6 percentage points lower compared to a year earlier.

A consensus of economists had expected the unemployment rate to stay at 6.7 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.

A closer look at the data shows a loss of 50,500 positions in the more-desirable private-sector category, while the public sector added 35,200 jobs.

There were also 31,200 fewer full-time jobs last month, while the number of part-time positions grew by 34,300.