Ontario manufacturer Minus FortyClick image to enlargeA surge in employment in the manufacturing sector helped Canada's economy gain 58,000 jobs in May, the biggest gain in employment in seven months, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

 Economists had expected a gain of just 10,000 jobs last month. A tick up in the participation rate saw the unemployment rate hold steady at 6.8 per cent.

According to RBC Economics assistant chief economist Dawn Desjardins, "employment gains were largest in manufacturing (+21,500), health care (+20,700), retail/wholesale trade (+16,800), finance, insurance and real estate (+12,700) and business/building services (+12,900)."

She adds that "the number of full-time employed increased by 30,900, building on April's 46,900 gain. Part-time employment rose in May by 27,900, partially offsetting the sharp 66,500 drop recorded in April. So far this year, full-time employment is up 71,800 with part-time employment rising 30,500. May's report showed that the job gains were concentrated in the private sector, which rose 56,800, while public sector job losses of 19,100 were largely offset by a 21,100 increase in self-employment."

Overall job creation was concentrated in the private sector, which added 56,800 positions, while the public sector lost 19,100 jobs. The participation rate edged up to 65.9 percent from 65.8 percent.

RBC Economics' Desjardins says the growth in employment is "impressive" because it occurred despite a decline in employment in the resource sector, specifically mining, and oil and gas.

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