CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

Canadian manufacturing adds workers for first time since November

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Manufacturing employment was up in six provinces in March, led by Quebec and Alberta. PHOTO courtesy Rose Integration.

Canadian manufacturing employment rose 9,300 (+0.5%) in March, bucking the trend for much of the rest of the Canadian economy, which shed jobs for only the second time in the last 18 months.

Manufacturing experienced its first increase in four months. “Facing numerous headwinds such as persistent workforce challenges, high interest rates, and soft global demand, the sector has shed nearly 30,000 workers since July 2023,” notes Alan Arcand, chief economist with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

Regionally, manufacturing employment was up in six provinces in March, led by Ontario (+7,100) and Alberta (+4,600). In proportional terms, Newfoundland and Labrador also experienced a strong rise in factory payrolls (+1,000) last month. These increases were partially offset by a significant pullback in Quebec (-7,300).

“Taking a longer-term view, Ontario’s manufacturers (+23,200) have created the most jobs over the last year, while Quebec’s manufacturers (-22,300) have shed the most workers.” Arcand points out.

Across the entire economy, the unemployment rate shot up to 6.1% in March, the highest level in more than two years and up a full percentage point from a year ago. Similarly, the jobless rate in manufacturing jumped 0.8 percentage points to 4.1%, the highest level since September 2023.

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