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Canada added almost 40,000 jobs in May, pushing jobless rate down to record-low 5.1% | CBC News

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Canada’s economy added 39,800 jobs last month, as a surge in hiring for full-time work pushed the jobless rate down to its lowest rate on record, 5.1 per cent.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that more than 135,000 people found full-time work during the month. That more than offset a decline of 96,000 part-time positions.

The jobless rate inched down for the third month in a row, settling at the lowest point it’s been since comparable record-keeping began in 1976.

May’s hiring surge adds to the expansion that Canada’s economy has seen in recent months. After shedding more than three million jobs in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s job market has slowly and steadily recovered. 

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Booming demand for workers

By November 2021, Canada finally had the same number of workers it had before the pandemic. When May’s numbers are included, it now has half a million more than it did then.

The balance between job vacancies and workers has almost completely shifted from one of imbalance to one where employers can’t find enough people to work.

Statscan says the ratio of unemployed people to job vacancies has reached an all-time low of 1.2. 

That demand for workers is pushing wages up, too. The data agency says average hourly wages have risen by $1.18 in the past year, to $31.12 an hour. That’s an increase of 3.9 per cent. While an impressive clip by historic standards, it’s still well short of the country’s official inflation rate of 6.8 per cent.

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