Ottawa-Gatineau's unemployment rate drops to 5.1% in February

Unemployment rate

Statistics Canada says in its monthly jobs report that Canada added 56,000 jobs in February, with most of those being full-time positions.

When you add in the 66-thousand, 800 net new jobs created in January, the numbers represent the best two-month stretch of job creation since the spring of 2012.

Scotiabank's Derek Holt, Head of Capital Markets Economics, thinks job creation and wage growth will get the Bank of Canada's attention.

"It was a great report card for the Canadian jobs market and it flies in the face of some of the other statistics that we've been seeing lately out of Canada", said Scott Smith, managing partner at Viewpoint Investment Partners.

Part-time job losses of 11,600 were offset by an increase of 67,400 full-time jobs.

The encouraging numbers provided a bright spot for the economy, which has posted disappointing data in recent months. The more dovish tone prompted markets to price in a chance that the bank might actually cut rates this year.

In addition, the Ontario Government said in a release that Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie has the largest employment growth year-over-year across the province at seven per cent growth.

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The Bank of Canada keeps close watch of several wage indicators ahead of policy decisions on its key interest rate.

The services-producing sector saw employment increase by 46,200 in February, while jobs in the goods-producing increased by 9,500.

Only Red Deer at 4.7 per cent had a lower unemployment rate among this province's regions. In particular, the central bank focuses on a reading called "wage common", which incorporates payroll data from several sources, not just from the labour force survey.

"Ka-boom, so much for employers lacking confidence to be heaping on this kind of job growth", said Holt, in a research note.

Over the 12-month stretch leading up to February, total employment rose by 369,100 jobs or two per cent.

While employment nationwide rose again for the second straight month, the news wasn't quite so rosy here in Alberta and the City of Calgary.

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