Canada sheds 88000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

Canada sheds 88000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

Statistics Canada says 88,000 jobs were lost in January, the biggest one-month drop in nine years.

Nationally, 2018 got off to a bad start as the Canadian economy lost 88,000 jobs and the jobless rate rose from 5.8 per cent to 5.9 per cent.

"This is still a solid job market, we will have to monitor how the market adjusts to the minimum wage", Brittany Baumann, a macro strategist at TD Securities, said by phone from Toronto.

Statistics Canada had previous reported the national jobless rate for December as 5.7 per cent, but that was revised upward to 5.8 per cent as part of an annual review of the seasonal adjustment factors. The survey also detected stronger wage growth in January of 3.3 per cent, which also led some to point out possible connections to Ontario. Poloz has repeatedly said future rate decisions will be highly data dependent.

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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.

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.

It wasn't just Ontario that saw wage growth of more than 3 per cent. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia recorded increases over that level, with the westernmost province's wages rising almost 4 per cent. The growth represents an increase of 2.8 per cent.

Victoria saw an unemployment increase for the second consecutive month at 3.9 per cent from 3.5.

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Ontario, which increased its minimum wage in January, was the biggest loser in January, shedding 50,900 jobs in the month. "But the details also looking wonky, with all of the job losses in part-time work".

Most analysts cautiously highlighted the potential connection.

BMO chief economist Douglas Porter noted it was the first setback for jobs in Canada's job market in 16 months and Ontario was especially hard hit.

There was little change in Ontario's jobless rate.

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