TORONTO – The Canadian dollar jumped more than half a cent on Friday as the latest Canadian jobs figures delivered a few positive surprises on the economy.
The loonie was up 0.58 of a cent near midday at 91.17 cent cents US, after Statistics Canada said 43,000 net new jobs were added in March.
Most of the new jobs were part-time positions, and the vast majority of the new jobs went to young Canadians, the agency said.
Another soft spot in the report was that almost all the new jobs were in the public sector, while new private sector hiring was limited to 3,900.
The figure pushed the unemployment rate one tenth of a point lower to 6.9 per cent.
“The strong bounce in March employment is encouraging though it follows a 7,000 drop in February and leaves the average increase over the previous four months at a still modest 5,000,” wrote RBC Economics assistant chief economist Paul Ferley in a note.
“Thus today’s report does not alter our view that monetary policy is likely to remain highly accommodative to try and sustain more robust employment growth going forward.”
Meanwhile in the United States, employers added 192,000 jobs in March, but the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 per cent. The March jobs numbers were slightly below February’s total of 197,000.
One of the brightest spots in the U.S. non-farms payroll report was a revision by the Labor Department of its January and February numbers — adding 37,000 more jobs to the period than was originally estimated.
In commodities, the May crude contract gained $1.12 to US$101.41 a barrel.
The May copper contract was ahead 0.7 of a cent at US$3.03 a pound while bullion for June delivery was $15.10 higher at US$1,299.70 an ounce.