Labour market stays hot with surprise gain of 77000 full-time jobs

Canada's labour market continued its stellar performance in May, with a greater-than-expected 54,500 jobs gain that also finally came with signs of a pick-up in wages.

The Canadian economy added 54,500 jobs in May, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. Employment among Canadians between the ages of 15 and 24 grew by 28,000.

By province, the agency says Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec saw the biggest job gains last month.

Is the wages puzzle - slumping earnings gains in the face of sharp increases in employment - being solved?

Pay also improved, with average hourly wages up 1 percent from a year earlier after growing at an annual 0.5 percent in April.

It's not just services. Still, services have done the heavy lifting over the past year, accounting for 295,200 of the new jobs.

DePratto said the jobs numbers combined with other robust economic figures of late, including growth, trade, and retail, will likely start to tilt the Bank of Canada towards hiking its benchmark interest rate. A separate report released Friday by Statistics Canada showed utilization of industrial capacity at the highest since 2007.

The Canadian dollar was up by 0.3% at 1.3472 per USA dollar at 8:34 a.m. ET, after being little changed earlier in the day.

Thomas area lost 300 jobs last month, leading to an increase in the local unemployment rate. The number of hours worked rose 0.7 per cent, the report said.

Adjusted to the way calculations are made in the U.S., Canada's unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent in May, compared with 4.3 per cent in the U.S.

The unemployment rate for youth slipped 0.3 percentage points to 12 per cent last month as more young people participated in the job market.

The manufacturing sector added 25,000 new jobs in May, it's best month since 2002.

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