Niagara unemployment spikes to 6.8%

A spike in the unemployment rate in Niagara, up to 6.8% in April.

That is up from a rate of 6.4% in St. Catharines-Niagara in March.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell in April to 6.5%, the lowest since October 2008, when the country was within the grips of the global financial crisis.

However, wage growth stalled to its weakest in more than two decades.
     
Statistics Canada says hourly wages expanded by 0.7 per cent in April, the slowest year-over-year growth since it started collecting that data in January 1997.
     
Statistics Canada says the drop in youth participation helped push the jobless rate down by 0.2 percentage points even though overall employment was almost unchanged.
     
A consensus of economists had expected the unemployment rate to stay at 6.7 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.
     
A closer look at the data shows a loss of 50,500 positions in the more-desirable private-sector category, while the public sector added 35,200 jobs.
     
There were also 31,200 fewer full-time jobs last month, while the number of part-time positions grew by 34,300.