OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) -- Canada's unemployment rate climbed two-tenths of a point to 7.2 percent after the country lost 54,500 jobs in March.
The report took back all of the gains of February and then some, leaving job creation in Canada in negative territory for the first three months of the year.
Economists had expected a modest 6,500 pick-up during the month, anticipating that February's large gain could not be sustained. But few saw the cut in the labor market would run so deep.
Statistics Canada said Friday all the jobs lost were in the full-time category. The government agency says that over the past year, only 111,000 private-sector jobs have been created.