OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian economy added far fewer jobs than expected in April, though the unemployment rate inched down to new record low of 5.2% and the labor market remained very tight, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.

After adding more than 400,000 jobs over the previous two months, Canada added a modest 15,300 net jobs in April, far short of analyst expectations of a gain of 55,000. The gains were entirely in part-time work, as full-time employment fell.

Despite the disappointing overall gain in employment, labor force participation hit a fresh high among core-age workers.

“A number of signs have pointed to an increasingly tight labor market in recent months,” Statscan said, noting the number of part-time workers who say they would prefer full-time work has fallen to its lowest level on record.

Still, employment fell in the goods producing sector, led by construction jobs. That decline was offset by a gain in service sector jobs, driven by professional, scientific and technical services and information, culture and recreation.

The average hourly wage of permanent employees rose 3.4%, down from a 3.7% gain in March.

The Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2831 to the U.S. dollar, or 77.94 U.S. cents.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, additional reporting by Fergal Smith, editing by Andrew Heavens)