Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Canada adds 66,800 jobs in January, unemployment rate rises

Canada adds 66,800 jobs in January, unemployment rate rises

But at 5.6 per cent, it was half a percentage point higher than unemployment in December 2018.

Last month, that went up to 6.8%, according to the Statistic Canada assessment.

The Alberta rate rose from 6.4 per cent in December to 6.8 last month after almost 16,000 jobs were lost.

The western part of Alberta once again has the second lowest unemployment rate in the province.

Provincially, unemployment climbed to 6.8 per cent from 6.4 per cent in December 2018. There were 200 fewer jobs in January but from a year ago employment in the region was higher by 33,800 positions.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 18, 873, 900 people working last month across all of Canada, with 1,162,000 people unemployed.

The labour force report also showed that 4,000 full-time jobs were added in January, while roughly 400 part-time jobs were lost as month.

The Canadian dollar jumped more than a quarter of a cent in the moments after Statistics Canada announced the jobs numbers.

The rise in the unemployment rate was attributable to an expansion in the labor force with more people seeking jobs.

In a note to clients Friday, CIBC Chief Economist Royce Mendes wrote the latest job readings were "a vehicle stuck on one of Canada's clogged highways: speeding up then slowing down just to speed back up again".

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.8 per cent, up from 5.6 per cent in December 2018.

In Toronto, the participation rate was 66.2 per cent in January and the employment rate was 62.4 per cent.

"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)".

All told, the nation gained about 67,000 jobs in January, mostly among youth aged 15-24 and in the services-producing industries. For last month, the rate was at 7.8%, an increase of 0.8% from December.

"Overall, it's been a good day for readings on the Canadian economy".

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