Cape Breton unemployment rate up 0.3 per cent

10 February, 2018, 09:47 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Statistics Canada says the economy lost 88000 jobs in January

Statistics Canada says the local economy was stagnant in January with little change in jobs but an increase in the jobless rate.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.9 percent from December's revised 5.8 percent.

Even with the decline, Canada has had a strong run of job creation that's generated 414,100 full-time jobs over a 12-month period.

This was reflected in the national numbers of 137,000 part-time job losses and 49,000 full-time position gains, for a net job loss of 88,000 spots.

"If you take a six-month average, you're still sitting pretty close to 20,000, which is what people generally view as being consistent with a Canadian economy that's either at trend or slightly above trend from the rear-view perspective", David Tulk, Toronto-based institutional portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments, said by phone. "But the details also looking wonky, with all of the job losses in part-time work".

An extra 900 people entered the labour force in January, the same amount of people began claiming unemployment.

"Market participants are getting schooled in the ways of Canada's employment numbers, and the lesson seems to be that when they're too good to be true, they might not be", CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said in a note.

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It was the largest monthly drop for the province since 2009.

Also, because the labour-force survey relies on Canadians to report their income and employment status, it is not as reliable as the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, which uses payroll-tax data and is released about six-to-eight weeks after the end of the month.

In Ontario the jobless rate fell to 5.5 per cent from 5.6 per cent in December. Employment "showed a long-expected correction in January".

The wage improvements in January arrived the same month that saw Ontario take the controversial step of raising its minimum wage.

"Today's sour news is at least in part an offset to the unusually strong gains seen late past year, and most likely does not represent the start of new trend".

Victoria saw an unemployment increase for the second consecutive month at 3.9 per cent from 3.5. The growth represents an increase of 2.8 per cent.

Others didn't expect the January report, on its own, to have a significant impact on the outcome of the Bank of Canada's next rate announcement.

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