Economic analysis

Canadian unemployment rate rises for first time in three years

Economists had predicted unemployment rate would stay at 7.2 per cent

Economy charts CAROUSEL

OTTAWA — Canada’s unemployment rate crept up to 7.3 per cent last month for the first time in three years amid flat overall job growth.

Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey says the national jobless rate increased by 0.1 per cent for the third month in a row.

The report says the country lost 2,300 net jobs in February compared to the previous month, though the agency deemed that figure statistically insignificant.

The data says the number of net full-time positions fell by 51,800, while less-desirable part-time jobs increased by 49,500.

The report found that Saskatchewan and New Brunswick saw two of the largest monthly net declines in jobs, while British Columbia was the only province to register a significant increase in employment.

A consensus of economists had been predicting the country to add 9,000 net jobs and for the unemployment rate to stay at 7.2 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.

A quick look at February unemployment

(previous month in brackets)

Unemployment rate: 7.3 per cent (7.2)

Employment rate: 61.1 per cent (61.2)

Labour force participation rate: 65.9 per cent (65.9)

Number unemployed: 1,410,400 (1,390,300)

Number working: 18,002,900 (18,005,200)

Youth (15-24 years) unemployment rate: 13.3 per cent (13.0)

Men (25 plus) unemployment rate: 6.9 per cent (6.7)

Women (25 plus) unemployment rate: 5.5 per cent (5.5)

Here’s what happened provincially

(previous month in brackets):

Newfoundland and Labrador 14.1 per cent (14.4)

Prince Edward Island 11.0 (9.5)

Nova Scotia 9.1 (8.5)

New Brunswick 9.9 (9.3)

Quebec 7.6 (7.6)

Ontario 6.8 (6.7)

Manitoba 6.0 (6.1)

Saskatchewan 5.9 (5.6)

Alberta 7.9 (7.4)

British Columbia 6.6 (6.6)