Canada's volatile jobs survey posts biggest monthly drop since 2009

Canada's volatile jobs survey posts biggest monthly drop since 2009

Canada's volatile jobs survey posts biggest monthly drop since 2009

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 unemployment rate for Nova Scotia in January was 8.2 per cent, up 0.2 per cent from December. The loss reflects a record loss of 137,000 part-time jobs and a gain of 49,000 full-time jobs.

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. Compared with January 2017, employment in the province grew by 104,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined by 0.9 percentage points. The current stock market rout, for instance, began last Friday after U.S.jobs data showed wages there growing more than anticipated, raising worries that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates more quickly than expected. Ontario lost 51,000 jobs in January, entirely due to losses in part-time work.

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

Compared to January 2017, unemployment in Nanaimo has fallen from 5.9 per cent. Some research has suggested a reduction in hours or jobs follow mandated wage bumps, while other studies suggest no long-term connection between wage increases and dips in employment rates. "But the details are also looking wonky, with all of the job losses in part-time work".

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In Ontario the jobless rate fell to 5.5 per cent from 5.6 per cent in December.

Provincially, B.C. unemployment sat at 4.8 per cent in January, up slightly from 4.6, after shedding 5,100 jobs.

With files from the Canadian Press.

"One of the positives in today's release was the fact that wage growth picked up", said Craig Alexander, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada.

However, several experts made sure to note that before trying to draw conclusions from the January report, one should consider the well-known month-to-month volatility in the jobs figures. "Even prior to this week's financial market gyrations and this weak jobs data, we were of the view that the [Bank of Canada] would wait until the second half of the year before hiking [interest rates] again - these developments only embolden that view", Porter wrote in a commentary.

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