Loonie Strengthens After Strong Jobs Numbers

By Crispus Nyaga

On Friday, Canada released its jobs numbers that beat the consensus estimates. In April, the country added more than 106,500 jobs, which was the biggest gain since 1976 when the government started collecting the data. This number was higher than the 19K that analysts were expecting. This job creation led the unemployment rate to decline to 5.7%, from the previous 5.8%. The participation rate rose to 65.7%.

In the past three years, the economy has continued to create more jobs, even as other sectors of the economy have lagged.

73K of the jobs created in the country were full-time while 83K were in the private sector. As such, the economy has created an average of 36K jobs every month in the past one year. The tightening labour market led to an increase of the average hourly earnings to 2.5%. This was higher than the 2.4% reported in March.

The jobs created in April were spread across the sectors. 32,400 jobs were in the wholesale and retail trade sectors. The construction sector added 29,200 jobs. 66,400 part time positions created in the month were of people aged 15 to 24 years.

By regions, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island saw net gains in the month. In fact, most of the jobs added in the month were in Ontario.

These jobs numbers came as the Canadian economy has struggled in the past few months. In April, the building permits declined by more than 5.7% while the manufacturing sales declined by 0.2%.In the same month, exports and imports reported were lower than expected. In the first quarter, the GDP expanded by 1.1%, which was lower than the expected 1.4%.

The USD/CAD declined sharply after the impressive jobs numbers. The pair declined to a low of 1.3380 and later recovered the losses and reached a high of 1.3440. On the chart below, this price is along the 25-day and 50-day moving averages. The RSI has moved close to the overbought level of 70. The pair is likely to resume moving lower, especially after the impressive jobs numbers.

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