Canada's economy added 43,000 jobs in March as young people found work, Statistics Canada said today.
The country's unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 6.9 per cent.
- MAP: Unemployment rates across Canada
- PHOTO GALLERY: Job seekers flock to employment fair in Toronto
There were 190,000 more jobs in March 2014 than there were the same month in 2013.
The good news on jobs gave the Canadian dollar a boost. The loonie ended the day at 91.07 cents US, up 0.48 of a cent from Thursday's close
"So far this year, jobs are up by 65,000 amidst the concerns over the quality of the figures," Scotiabank economists said in a note after the release of the data. "That’s a pick-up from last year’s pace but still leaves the longer term trend quite soft over the past year."
More young workers
Most of the new jobs last month — about 33,000 — were for young workers between ages 15 and 24. But because more young people entered the job market, the unemployment rate for that demographic group stayed at 13.6 per cent.
Most of the new jobs were part time, with 30,000 such positions created. Full-time jobs increased, but by a smaller amount: 13,000.
The service sector added 58,000 new jobs, while the goods-producing sector shed more than 15,000 positions.
"The bulk of the job growth was in part-time employment and public sector employment," TD Bank economist Derek Burleton said in a note. "However, the gains in these areas merely offset out-sized losses racked up over the past few months."
Job gains were also uneven across the country.
There were gains in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Quebec, but employment fell in Nova Scotia. They were essentially flat everywhere else.
The federal government was cautiously upbeat on the news, with Finance Minister Joe Oliver saying, "Our government is pleased to see solid growth in the job market with over 40,000 new jobs and a lowering of the unemployment rate.
"While these gains are positive, we must continue to focus on jobs and the economy with the global economy remaining fragile," Oliver added.
The Canadian dollar gained more than half a cent on the news, trading above 91 cents US.