Canada adds 32,300 jobs, all full time, as jobless rate stays at record low 5.8%

The economy delivered 32,300 net new jobs last month as Canada generated a rush of full-time work that helped hold the national unemployment rate at a record low.

Statistics Canada says the jobless rate stayed at 5.8 per cent in March for a second consecutive month _ and for the third time since December _ to match its lowest level since the agency started measuring the indicator in 1976.

The agency says the labour force produced 68,300 full-time positions last month and shed 35,900 part-time jobs.

However, the survey shows that 19,600 of the new employee positions were created in the public sector, while the number of private-sector workers declined by 7,000.

The report also found that average hourly wage growth, which has been under close scrutiny by the Bank of Canada ahead of interest-rate decisions, strengthened in March to 3.3 per cent, up from 3.1 per cent the previous month.

Central Canada saw the biggest gains in March as the two largest provinces _ Ontario and Quebec _ each added more than 10,000 net new positions.