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Canada Posts Biggest Job Decline Since 2009

Canada Posts Biggest Job Decline Since 2009

"The unemployment rate is still low with the economy remaining close to full employment".

The National Capital Region continued to lower its unemployment rate in January, adding 4,600 jobs in the first month of the year according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada cautions against month-to-month comparisons of the Medicine Hat unemployment rate, due to the small sample size.

The local job market is in contrast with the national picture as Canada's unemployment rate rose to 5.9 per cent in January, up from 5.7 per cent in December 2017.

The vigour that carried the Canadian labour market on its impressive run in 2017 hit a speed bump to start this year with its largest one-month job drop in nine years.

Nationally, It was payback time for Canada's labor market in January, Bloomberg News reported, with the biggest monthly job loss since the last recession - all part-time - as employers faced quickening wage gains.

"A mysterious mix of good and bad, with the latter's impact blunted by how strong job gains were in the lead up to these figures", Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said in a note to investors.

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On the flip side, 49,000 full-time positions were generated in January. "But the details also looking wonky, with all of the job losses in part-time work".

However, several experts made sure to note that before trying to draw conclusions from the January report, one should consider the well-known month-to-month volatility in the jobs figures.

Victoria saw an unemployment increase for the second consecutive month at 3.9 per cent from 3.5. The growth represents an increase of 2.8 per cent.

The wage improvements in January arrived the same month that saw Ontario take the controversial step of raising its minimum wage. While there were job losses in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Manitoba, Alberta saw very little in the way of job losses as part-time workers were replaced with full-time workers.

Canada's economy has still seen employment increase by 288,700 jobs over the past 12 months - 146,000 of which came in November and December.

With files from the Canadian Press.


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