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Unemployment rate falls in February to lowest since March 2020

Last Updated Mar 12, 2021 at 8:18 am PDT

FILE - Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

Canada added 259,000 jobs in February

Unemployment rate plunges from 9.4 per cent to 8.2 per cent

OTTAWA – Canada added 259,000 jobs last month, bringing the unemployment rate down 1.2 percentage points to 8.2 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.

That’s the lowest rate since March of last year. The gains in February almost wiped out the loss of 266,000 jobs over the previous two months.

There were almost 213,000 jobs lost across the country in January, when lockdown measures were once again introduced in some parts. January’s job losses marked the worst monthly decline since April 2020.

February’s reopenings reversed that drop with gains largely in Ontario and Quebec, and in sectors highly affected by tightened public health restrictions.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate was for a net gain in February of 75,000 jobs, and an unemployment rate of 9.2 per cent.

The gains now leave the country 599,100 jobs short of where they were in February of last year, or 3.1 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

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