Canada's economy added 59,000 jobs last month, but the jobless rate stayed the same at 6.8 per cent because more people were looking for work.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that employment increased in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, while it declined in Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

The rest of the country's labour force was just about unchanged.

Most of the jobs were in the private sector, fairly evenly distributed between full-time and part-time jobs. The ranks of the self-employed stay the same, while the public sector shrank.


Two sectors — manufacturing and health care — were responsible for most of the gains, with 22,000 jobs added in the former and 21,000 in the latter.

"With the U.S. economy showing clear signs of improvement, this is perhaps a sign that the Canadian non-energy economy is finally beginning to shift into a higher gear, aided by the lower Canadian dollar," said David Madani, an economist with Capital Economics in Toronto.

"We still think that the worst effects of this aren't over, and still expect the economy to grow at a fairly unspectacular pace over the rest of the year," he said.

The 59,000 figure is much stronger than the 10,000 new jobs expected by a consensus of economists polled by Bloomberg.