(Reuters) — Defying market expectations, Canada added 58,200 jobs in April, mostly full time, after a whopping gain of 82,300 new positions in March, according to Statistics Canada data released on Friday.
Nonetheless, the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 per cent from 7.2 per cent in March, because more people were looking for work. Statscan said it would be 6.4 per cent if reported in the way the United States calculates its rate. The U.S. rate for April was 8.1 per cent.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast the job market to settle back to an increase of only 7,000 new jobs after March's jump. However, the median forecast for the unemployment rate, at 7.3 per cent, proved correct.
Details of the job picture were also positive. All of the new posts were in the private sector and most of them (43,900) were full time. The number of employees rose by 66,600, while those in the often softer category of self-employed fell.
The second straight month of employment gains will bolster the case for an eventual rate hike by the Bank of Canada, which sees the economy's spare capacity diminishing. However the bank is also eyeing the unsettled European debt crisis for a potential backlash on North American economies.
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