Windsor's unemployment rate rises in April

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The unemployment rate for our census metropolitan area last month was 5.5 per cent - going by the Labour Force Survey released Friday.

But Calgary still has a long way to go to match Edmonton's 6.6 per cent or Toronto's 5.9 per cent.

Stats Canada says wages grew at the fastest rate in almost six years last month, rising 3.6 per cent compared to April of last year.

"It is fair to say that they would view 3 per cent [wage growth] as being a little bit more "normal" and it would probably give them more comfort in raising rates", said Douglas Porter, chief economist with Bank of Montreal.

"There is nothing about this report that is going to cause the Bank of Canada to rush into a rate hike", said Andrew Kelvin, senior rates strategist at TD Securities.

He noted the wage growth numbers received a boost from Ontario's minimum wage increase in January.

Statistics Canada Labour Market Analyst Vincent Ferrao says it was 8.8 per cent last month, compared to 8.5 per cent the same time a year ago. The overall labour force has also fallen from 22,700 in April 2017 to just 22,400 last month. It matched the reading's lowest mark since the agency started measuring the indicator in 1976.

That includes a drop to 6 per cent in the Medicine Hat-Lethbridge region from 6.8 per cent in April 2017 and 6.5 per cent in March. Services sectors, meanwhile, created 14,800 jobs following big increases in professional, scientific and technical services as well as accommodation and food services.

The youth unemployment rate - for people aged 15 to 24 - increased in April to 11.1 per cent following a net gain of 17,700 new jobs. In April 2018, the participation rate was 65.5 per cent, down from 66.8 12 months earlier.

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