Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Economy | By

January unemployment up from December, drops from start of 2018

January unemployment up from December, drops from start of 2018

Employment was up slightly - rising from 61 per cent in December to 61.2 per cent in January - as was the participation rate, which rose from 64.6 per cent to 64.7 per cent during the period.

Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey provides estimates of employment and unemployment, based on a sampling of households in communities.

The unemployment rate continued to hover at about 5.5 per cent. Year-over-year, Saskatchewan gained 7,700 jobs.

The significance is that had people not left the labour force in the numbers they did, our jobless rate would now be significantly higher.

British Columbia had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.7 per cent, while Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest at 11.4 per cent.

However, using the jobless rate to assess the progress of the capital region's workforce over the past decade is a bit of an illusion. Unemployment in that province increased by 0.4 percentage points.

In January 2018, the jobless rate in the Camrose-Drumheller region was only 4.9%.

In Calgary, the unemployment rate was at 7.3% last month, while in Edmonton, it was at 6.4%.

Some of the major industry leaders in Alberta, as far as employment goes, include forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas, as well as construction, manufacturing, the trades, health care and social assistance. This was followed up by Nova Scotia at 9.9% and New Brunswick at 8.2%.

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

The country saw a rush of 66,800 net new jobs in January in a gain fuelled by a hiring surge in the private sector, Statistics Canada said Friday.

Energy-rich Alberta, hit hard by the oil-price decline, shed jobs for a second-straight month and saw its jobless rate rise to 6.8 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent. For women 25 and over, the rate was 4.6%. "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".

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