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Unemployment rate by province and territory in March 2024. Image: Statistics Canada

Unemployment rate climbs to 6.1%

By Brad Perry Apr 5, 2024 | 10:42 AM

Canada’s unemployment rate jumped to 6.1 per cent in March, according to Statistics Canada.

It comes as more people were searching for work and employment remaining virtually unchanged.

The country shed 2,200 jobs in March, with fewer people working in accommodation and food services, wholesale and retail trade, and professional, scientific and technical services.

Employment gains were recorded in four industries, led by health care and social assistance.

StatCan said the monthly increase in the unemployment rate was driven by 60,000 additional people searching for work or on temporary layoff.

This brought the total number of unemployed people to 1.3 million, an increase of 247,000 compared with 12 months earlier.

A look at some of the provincial numbers

New Brunswick lost 2,600 full-time jobs and gained 900 part-time positions for a net decrease of 2,100.

StatCan said the province’s unemployment rate rose 0.9 percentage points to 7.8 per cent.

Nova Scotia gained 1,100 full-time and lost 2,500 part-time jobs for an overall decrease of 1,500.

That pushed the unemployment rate up two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.2 per cent.

Prince Edward Island lost 100 jobs as the unemployment rate climbed to 7.3 per cent from 6.9 per cent the previous month.

In Ontario, the province lost 1,400 full-time jobs but added 27,500 part-time positions for a net increase of 26,100.

The unemployment rate climbed two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.7 per cent.

The full report can be found on Statistics Canada’s website.