Canada shed 88000 jobs in January

Canada shed 88000 jobs in January

"The Canadian economy experienced a very large setback in January ... but it also needs to be kept in perspective - we had outstandingly strong job growth over the course of previous year", Craig Alexander, chief economist for the Conference Board of Canada, said in an interview.

The province hiked minimum wage by some 20 per cent to $14 per hour at the beginning of the year, a move some economists said could result in mass job losses as employers look to reduce costs.

The economy lost 88,000 positions - all of them part time - in January for its biggest employment decline in a single month since 2009, Statistics Canada's latest jobs survey revealed Friday.

Thomas unemployment rate rose in the first month of 2018.

The overall number was dragged down by a loss of 137,000 part-time positions in what was easily the category's largest one-month collapse since the agency started gathering the data in 1976.

Porter said there were some special factors in January including the minimum wage hike in Ontario, harsh winter weather which affected construction and an inevitable pullback after exceptionally strong job growth in 2017. On a net basis, Ontario's job losses towered over the rest of the country which suggests something may be afoot. Halifax had an unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent in January, down from seven per cent in December. It is not unusual to see a city's unemployment rate rise during stronger economic times as more people join the labour because the chances of finding work are better. She cited the full-time job gain, faster wages and a low unemployment rate as signs of a resilient labor market.

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Meanwhile, the labour force in the region increased by 3,000 people over the course of the month.

Wage growth also received a boost in January, a month that saw Ontario lift its minimum wage.

The higher minimum rate could have underpinned Canada's stronger wage growth.

Traders are now focusing on next week's USA consumer-price data, with equity investors took the signal to mean interest rates will rise as inflation gathers pace. The country's average hourly rate climbed 3.3 per cent to $26.83 over January of past year, the first time since March, 2016, that wages grew faster than 3 per cent.

Victoria's finance, insurance and real estate sector saw the biggest gain in employment over the past year with 7,500 new positions. Compared with the year before, average hourly wages for permanent employees expanded 3.3 per cent.

When it comes to the Bank of Canada's possible reaction to the January report, Alexander noted the "bad number" could delay the timing of governor Stephen Poloz's next rate hike.

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