The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that Canada's labour recovery got a big boost in March, though progress could stall as parts of the country impose tighter restrictions to contain a third wave of COVID-19. The Globe's Matt Lundy writes that employment rose by 303,100 last month and the unemployment rate fell to 7.5 per cent from February's 8.2 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday. The gain was triple what economists had expected, and followed an expansion of 259,000 in February. Even so, compared with before the pandemic, around 300,000 fewer people are employed, a decline of 1.5 per cent. The labour surge was driven by six-figure gains in full-time and part-time work, while the number of self-employed jumped by 56,000 people, the first increase in three months. Despite prospects of a downbeat April, Friday's labour report elicited a lot of enthusiasm from Bay Street analysts, in large part because companies appear eager to hire when they are able to open their doors. "The big message from [Friday's] report is that it is now quite clear that prior job losses can be recovered surprisingly quickly when the economy more fully reopens," said Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter in a note.
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