P.A., Canada gain jobs, Sask. Sees slight drop

Ivan Schwartz
February 10, 2019

The services sector saw a gain of 99,200 positions, led by new work in wholesale and retail trade, while the goods-producing industries experienced a net loss of 32,300 jobs, the report said.

The national unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent in January, up from the 43-year low of 5.6 per cent in December.

(StatsCan warns with unadjusted data, one can not make month-to-month comparisons since different seasonal factors influence each month).

The provinces with the highest employment rate for last month were Alberta (66.5%), Saskatchewan (64.9%) and Manitoba (63.8%).

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. saw an increase in January. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.

However, using the jobless rate to assess the progress of the capital region's workforce over the past decade is a bit of an illusion.

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"On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees rose by 293,000 (+2.5 per cent), while the number of public sector employees grew by 62,000 (+1.7 per cent)".

Last week, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said the country has been in a "puzzling" stretch of weak wage growth at a time when the job market has been experiencing one of its biggest labour shortages in years. Many analysts expect governor Stephen Poloz to wait until much later in 2019 before making a move.

Canada added 30,900 full-time jobs last month and 36,000 part-time positions, the report said.

"It might catch your eye that you have this massive print in youth employment, but the actual story is that youth employment over the past year is just flat; it was reversing some of the losses we've seen recently", said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC World Markets.

January has been the highest recorded unemployment percentage since September 2018 at 5.6 percent, an estimated 39,900 people are employed in a labour force of 42,100.

"Wages continued to rise in January, with B.C. among the top provinces for year-over-year growth".

Other reports by GizPress

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