Saskatchewan Unemployment rate second-best among provinces in the country

Chelsea West
February 10, 2018

The area's unemployment rate remained unchanged however, at 6.8 per cent, because the number of people working or seeking work also fell last month. The Northeast had the lowest unemployment in B.C. last month.

Rocco Rossi, president of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, said the numbers "reflect the concerns we have heard from businesses for months".

Even with the overall decline in January, Canada has been on a strong run of job creation that has seen the country add 414,100 full-time jobs over a 12-month period. Unemployment in Canada is at 5.9 per cent, 3.9 per cent in Victoria and 4.8 per cent in Nanaimo.

Despite Canada's healthy economic performance past year, Alexander said the surprising pace of job creation had been stronger than the other data.

The job market is coming off its strongest pace of growth since 2002 after creating more than 400,000 jobs in 2017.

"I don't think that the January number is the start of a whole series of declines - I think it's more of a reflection of the fact that we were tracking abnormally strong numbers behind us", Alexander said.

Statistics Canada says 88,000 jobs were lost in January, the biggest one-month drop in nine years. Others didn't expect the January report, on its own, to have a significant impact on the outcome of the next rate announcement.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said he thought it probably leaves Poloz right where he was before the survey results came out. It's the highest year-over-year increase since July 2015 when it rose 3.32 per cent.

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Victoria's finance, insurance and real estate sector saw the biggest gain in employment over the past year with 7,500 new positions.

The London area jobless rate jumped from 6.2 per cent to 6.5 per cent in January as more people surged back into the job market.

Economists are divided on how minimum wage increases play out.

Provincial summary The drop in the number of people employed also coincided with an increase in the minimum wage in Canada's largest province, Ontario.

There were also decreases in New Brunswick and Manitoba, the agency said.

Most analysts cautiously highlighted the potential connection.

Ontario's Economic Development Minister Steven Del Duca ‎dismissed concerns that the drop in part-time jobs was due to the government's decision to raise the minimum wage to $14 five weeks ago, an increase of $2.40 per hour that many businesses said was too much.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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