January unemployment up from December, drops from start of 2018

January unemployment up from December, drops from start of 2018

Last month's unemployment in the census region covering Wood Buffalo dropped by 0.7 per cent compared to the start of 2018, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a gain of 8,000 positions in January and an increase in the jobless rate to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent in December.

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

Canada's unemployment rate was recorded at 5.8 per cent in January, and Ontario recorded a jobless rate of 5.7 per cent last month.

Canada saw 66,800 net new jobs in January, fuelled by a hiring surge in the private sector. Stephen from 7.1 to 6.5, Fredericton-Oromocto from 7.9 to 7.7 and Edmundston-Woodstock from 7.4 to 7.3.

Statistics Canada tracks the unemployment rate of metropolitan areas on a three-month moving average.

However, the number of people working also declined as people left the workforce.

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The unemployment rate in the Montreal region was down slightly in January from the month before, falling below the level in Toronto once again. The employment rate, however, has also risen, growing from 60.4 per cent to 63.2 per cent.

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

"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)".

The economy shed 32,300 goods sector positions, mostly in agriculture and construction.

The unemployment rate ticked up by 0.2 percentage points as more people looked for work.

More young Canadians, between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, found work last month as youth employment gained 52,800 positions.

"So while today's data will be bullish for the Canadian dollar and bearish for fixed income, the Bank of Canada is still likely on the sidelines for the first half of 2019", says Mendes.

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