The number of people receiving jobless benefits fell to a record low in February, another reflection of diminishing labor market slack as the Bank of Canada weighs when to raise interest rates again.

Employment Insurance recipients fell to 480,240 in February, a decline of 2.3 per cent from January and 13 per cent from 12 months earlier, Statistics Canada said Thursday from Ottawa.

It was the sixth-straight month of broad declines, including a 16 per cent drop in manufacturing and utilities. The EI records date back to 1997.

Canada’s jobless rate is holding at a record low of 5.8 percent, the culmination of a two-year employment boom. The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates three times since July but stood pat this week, saying that while labor market slack has diminished some indicators remain lower than what’s expected from an economy running close to full capacity.