Market Wire - Canadian Jobs Engine Roars Back to Life
Karl Schamotta - Chief Market Strategist, email@example.com
Canada created more jobs than expected last month as the Omicron wave faded and social distancing restrictions began to lift. Data released by Statistics Canada this morning shows 337,000 positions added in February, driving the unemployment rate down to 5.5 percent from 6.5 percent in the prior month.
Average hourly wages grew 3.3 percent on a year-over-year basis, significantly faster than the 2.4 percent pace recorded in January.
Economists had expected a 160,000-job gain, with unemployment falling to 6.2 percent.
The monetary policy implications are limited. To all intents and purposes, the country has reached full employment, and worker shortages are beginning to feed into wage pressures. The Bank of Canada is widely expected to upgrade its inflation forecasts and announce another interest rate hike at its next meeting on April 13.
The Canadian dollar climbed on the release, adding to gains achieved after Russian president Putin said there had been “certain positive movements” in talks with Ukraine.
Equity futures are pointing to a strong open and 10-year Treasury yields have moved back above the 2 percent threshold. West Texas Intermediate is trading near $106 a barrel, while Brent is holding the $110 level - both down sharply from highs reached earlier in the week.
The conflict continues to widen, with Russian forces advancing across a broad front and striking targets deeper in Ukrainian territory over the last day.