Canada sheds 88000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

Cesar Mills
February 10, 2018

Stats Canada reports that while the economy shed 137-thousand part-time positions - that category's largest collapse on record - the number of full-time jobs increased by 49-thousand.

The decrease of 88,000 jobs fell well short of economists' forecasts for a gain of 10,000 and made for the biggest decline since January 2009 when the economy was dealing with the global financial crisis. The survey also detected stronger wage growth in January of 3.3 per cent, which also led some to point out possible connections to Ontario.

Windsor's job market saw improvements in January from a year ago on two fronts, the unemployment rate and the labour participation rate.

"The data itself, when you look in the weeds, does not suggest that the minimum-wage hike in Ontario is the cause of the weakness", said Frances Donald, senior economist with Manulife Asset Management. "But the details are also looking wonky, with all of the job losses in part-time work".

"The June quarter survey showed zero employment growth and a drop in the participation rate, followed by a surge in both measures in the September quarter", he said.

The dip helped push the national unemployment rate up to 5.9 per cent, from a revised 5.8 per cent the previous month.

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Despite a small rise, B.C.'s unemployment rate is still the best in Canada.

The agency adjusted the rate in December after the results of the Labour Force Survey was released.

But the labor force grew by 1,400 which pushed up the unemployment rate.

The London area jobless rate jumped from 6.2 per cent to 6.5 per cent in January as more people surged back into the job market. Compared with the year before, average hourly wages for permanent employees expanded 3.3 per cent. Pay started to increase late summer and accelerated to as high as 2.8 per cent in November.

"This is still a solid job market, we will have to monitor how the market adjusts to the minimum wage", Brittany Baumann, a macro strategist at TD Securities, said by phone from Toronto.

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