Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Prince George unemployment rate sees slight rise in January

Prince George unemployment rate sees slight rise in January

Private sector jobs have been fuelling employment growth in the province, with an increase of 64,800 in the past year.

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

That's down from 5.2 in December and 5.9 per cent a year earlier.

In B.C., Stats Canada says the unemployment rate climbed three-tenths to 4.7 per cent in January, still the lowest of any Canadian province.

But as more people entered the workforce last month the province's unemployment rate edged up 0.3 percentage points to 4.7 per cent between December and January, according released Friday (Feb. 8) from Statistics Canada.

Positive news in the Cariboo too where the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 per cent from 7.3 per cent year-over-year. The number of self-employed workers fell by 61,000 last month.

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


One way to look at it, if the participation rate last month had been 73.3 per cent as it was in October 2008 the capital region's workforce - 779,000 in January - would have been larger by some 70,000.

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

"There had been some risk going into the report that a big print was coming, given that the survey had lagged the job gains seen in the more reliable payrolls report over the past year".

The increase in unemployment continues to rise, even slightly.

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

Mendes predicted that first quarter economic growth is still likely to be "somewhat weak" due to struggles getting oil to new markets due to regulatory delays in building new pipelines.

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