There was some good news on the Canadian unemployment front today. Statistics Canada released the March labour force survey which showed further progress in lowering the unemployment rate to 7.2 %, a welcome development. Unemployment fell in Ontario to 7.4% and in Quebec to 7.9 % from its previous month level of 8.4 % however the participation rate in Quebec remains below that of Ontario by 1.7 % points 64.8 versus 66.5 %. The participation rate in Alberta where unemployment rose to 5.3 % is a remarkable 74 %. So in terms of dramatically improving the economic situation both Ontario and Quebec still have a long road to travel.
In Manitoba unemployment fell to 5.3 %, Saskatchewan to 4.8 %, B.C. it rose to 7.0 %, Nova Scotia it rose to 8.3 %, New Brunswick to 10.2 %, Newfoundland to 13 % and P.E.I. to 11.3 %. A mixed picture overall but in the two most populous provinces the rate is heading in the right direction.