Paulina Botelho, a seamstress for Canada Goose, pieces together outerwear on the manufacturing floor of the company's facility in Toronto January 17, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/Fred Thornhill
NDP leader Thomas Mulcair says central Canada's manufacturing sector is hurting because western Canada's oil exports have pushed the value of the dollar up. But a Statistics Canada labour survey released Friday reported 36,000 new manufacturing jobs were created in May -- far more than in any other sector.
"May's modest job growth and the nearly 760,000 net new jobs created since July 2009 are both signs that we're on the right track for jobs and economic growth," said Alyson Queen, spokesperson for Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley.
Smaller gains were made in educational service jobs, with a rise of 5.6%.
And after months of minimal improvement, 11,000 jobs were added to the agriculture industry in May, a 5% increase over last year.
"Obviously I wish for stronger economic growth," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said. "The employment numbers are modest. We're maintaining a similar rate to what we have had."
Alberta had the sharpest rise, with 9,800 new jobs created in April -- enough to bring the province's unemployment rate down to 4.5%, the lowest in four years. Employment rates in Ontario, B.C. and Quebec remained largely unchanged.
Some sectors showed declines.
The information, culture and recreation sectors saw 27,000 jobs disappear. Employment in the construction sector dropped by the same number.
NDP MP Peggy Nash said employment numbers are still well below those of 2008, before the economic downturn, and warned against bringing in austerity measures prematurely.
"This isn't encouraging," she said. "It shows we don't have an economic strategy and that Stephen Harper's hands-off approach isn't working."