Canada adds nearly 70,000 jobs but unemployment rate creeps higher in January

11 Février, 2019, 03:07 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Woman looking through a filing cabinet. GETTY IMAGES  Raphye Alexius

The unemployment rate in Alberta rose slightly in January as the province shed 15,500 jobs, according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada.

"Following a quieter month in December", when the economy generated only 9,300 new jobs, January's figures "blew past expectations" commented Royce Mendes of CIBC Economics, for a modest gain of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.

Following a quieter month in December, volatility returned, with the Labour Force Survey suggesting 67,000 jobs were created in January.

Provincially, Alberta lost jobs for the second straight month, pushing its unemployment rate up to 6.8 per cent.

"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.

The employment rate was down from 62.8 per cent in December to 62.6 per cent in January. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. The number of self-employed positions, which can include unpaid work, declined by 60,700.

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"Definitely the headline job gain was very impressive", said BMO chief economist Douglas Porter.

"Labour markets still look solid". More people also searched for work last month, which pushed the national unemployment rate to 5.8%, up from its 43-year low of 5.6% in December. The Bank of Canada has expressed confidence that wage growth will pick up its pace. Many analysts expect governor Stephen Poloz to wait until much later in 2019 before making a move.

Decreases were recorded in the goods-producing industries, most notably in agriculture.

Year-over-year, the unemployment rate is up from January 2018 when it sat at 3.8%, and when 37,700 people were reported to be employed in a labour force of 39,200.

By region, Ontario and Quebec had the biggest employment increases last month.

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