Barrie no longer has the highest unemploymnent rate in Canada

By Glory Przekop with files from The Canadian Press

The Lethbridge-Medicine Hat region now has a lower rate than the Edmonton (6.8 per cent, unchanged) and Calgary (decreased to 7.5 per cent) regions.

April saw the biggest climb in wage growth in almost six years.

Canada lost 1 100 jobs during the month, Statistics Canada reported on Friday, just the second time since mid-2016 the economy didn't add new positions.

In the country's two strongest economies - Ontario and B.C. - the average hourly wage expanded by 4.3 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

Still, economists said the details of the report were encouraging, with full-time jobs rising and an acceleration in wage growth supporting expectations of another rate increase in July. It was the monthly reading's largest annual increase since October 2012.

Statistics Canada Labour Market Analyst Vincent Ferrao says it was 8.8 per cent last month, compared to 8.5 per cent the same time previous year.

"It is fair to say that they would view 3 per cent [wage growth] as being a little bit more "normal" and it would probably give them more comfort in raising rates", said Douglas Porter, chief economist with Bank of Montreal.

The participation rate, however, edged down in April to 65.4%, from 65.5% in March, as fewer people looked for work.

Markets see a 68 percent probability the central bank will hike in July, which would make for its fourth rate increase over the course of a year.

Goods-producing industries shed 15,900 positions, mostly in construction. Year-over-year, full-time employment rose by 250 jobs while 700 part-time jobs have been added.

Unlike the March increase, which saw employment decline, there was an increase of 400 jobs in April.