Job Numbers Sharply Higher in March

Things aren't entirely back on track with Canada's economy, but figures released Friday showed job growth very much on the mend last month.

Statistics Canada says the economy added 303,000 jobs in in March as employment increased, including gains in sectors hardest hit by public health restrictions.

The agency also says there were about 95,000 more retail jobs for the month, fully recouping losses sustained in January lockdowns.

Notable gains were also seen in health care, construction and educational services. That last gain was partially a result of Ontario, which led employment gains overall, moving its March break for schools to next week in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

National employment figures released Friday morning outpaced the 259,000 gain seen in February that, at the time, towered over expectations.

The March increase puts employment 296,000 shy of the pre-COVID level in February 2020, or roughly 1.5% of pre-crisis levels.

It also sent the unemployment rate to 7.5%, down from 8.2% in February, bringing the rate to a pandemic-era low.