Despite a healthy economic growth, Canada’s economy lost 2,800 jobs in February, with at least 18% of those positions belonging to the mining sector.
According to the latest report from Statistics Canada, released this morning, the unemployment rate nonetheless didn’t change much, reaching 7.4% in February from 7.6% in January, mainly because 38,000 people dropped out of the workforce. This is the largest such move since January 2009.
The mining industry contributed with at least 18% of those loses, partly due to the closure of Electro-Motive Canada (EMC) plant in London, Ontario at the beginning of the month.
EMC, a subsidiary of heavy equipment maker Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), left about 465 workers without a job after several months of unsuccessful contract negotiations with the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW).
According to CAW’s President Ken Lewenza another 1,700 workers employed in spin-off jobs were also affected by Caterpillar’s EMC decision.
Statistics Canada’s report, however, shows the biggest decline was registered in retail and wholesale; transportation and warehousing; health care and social assistance; and public administration.
The report comes a day after the Bank of Canada issued a more optimistic forecast for the economy but held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1%, says Reuters. Bank of Canada’s outlook supports analysts' view that a rate increase may come sooner than previously expected, although is not imminent according to Reuters.
Later in the morning, United States is to report February jobs data as well.