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Construction loses 2,400 jobs in March, its fourth-straight decline


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April 6, 2019 by David Kennedy

The industry continues to underperform the overall economy in terms of job gains

OTTAWA—The slump continues for the construction labour force.

Statistics Canada released its monthly employment assessment April 5, revealing the construction industry’s fourth-straight month of job losses. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the sector shed about 2,400 positions in March, with employment slipping to approximately 1,435,900 workers.

The 0.2 per cent decline also shifts year-over-year construction employment into the red. There were 0.8 per cent fewer workers employed in construction in March 2019 than in the same month last year.

Across all sectors, Canada snapped a six-month labour force winning streak. The economy as a whole lost 7,200 workers, though stayed essentially flat with a zero per cent change.

“Though the March employment report was a downside surprise, the report contained a number of positive signs regarding the state of the labour market,” David Watt, the chief economist for Canada at HSBC Canada, wrote in a research note. “In particular, the jobless rate remained near its historic low, and wage growth continues to improve.”

The construction labour force also continues to underperform Canada as a whole. Unlike construction, which employed 0.8 per cent fewer worker in March, Canada has added 1.8 per cent to its workforce year-over-year.


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