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Canadian construction employment climbs in March 2011

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by Journal Of Commerce

The number of people working in Canada’s construction industry increased in March, while employment in the overall economy remained the same.

“Employment in construction rose by 24,000 in March, continuing an upward trend that began in July 2009,” said a report recently released by Statistics Canada. “Over the past 12 months, employment in this industry has increased by 5.3 per cent (64,000), one of the highest rates of growth among all industries.”

Overall employment in Canada was unchanged in March, as an increase of 91,000 in full-time employment was offset by a decline of 92,000 in part time work.

“This report is a classic case of where the headline result gives a misleading snapshot of the underlying trend,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with the Bank of Montreal.

“While the overall results are no ball of fire, the big increase in full-time jobs, the rise in hours worked, a small uptick in average wages, and the dip in the jobless rate are all consistent with underlying improvement in the labour market.”

Estimated employment in B.C. increased by 3,500 persons or 0.2 per cent from February to a seasonally-adjusted 2.264 million individuals.

“While this marked a second consecutive monthly gain, the increase was statistically insignificant and may reflect random error due to small sampling sizes,” said Central 1 Credit Union economist Bryan Yu.

“In any event, gains over the last two months have merely pushed employment back to levels observed in mid-2010, reflecting an ebb and flow of labour market conditions with little in the way of net job gains over the last three quarters.”

In Alberta, employment decreased by 0.1 per cent or 3,200 to 2,064,300 people. Construction industry employment also declined by 800 to 207,300.

JOC News Service

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