Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

P.A., Canada gain jobs, Sask. Sees slight drop

P.A., Canada gain jobs, Sask. Sees slight drop

Positive news in the Cariboo too where the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 per cent from 7.3 per cent year-over-year.

Employment declined for the second straight month in the province. The number of part- and full-time positions declined by 400 and 2,400, respectively.

Good news on the jobs front in Prince George. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.

British Columbia, meanwhile, sits at 4.7 per cent for last month which is a small increase from the 4.4 percentage in December, while nationally, the unemployment rate increased to 5.8 per cent, up from 5.6 in December.

The employment rate was down from 62.8 per cent in December to 62.6 per cent in January. "We actually saw a record gain in private-sector payrolls".

It's better, he said, to look at the three-month and six-month trends, although he also described those results as solid in recent months.

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Still, the January bounce for 15- to 24-year-olds is likely to be noted by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, who has long lamented the low participation rate for youth.

The Bank of Canada has been monitoring wage growth ahead of its interest-rate decisions as it tries to determine how well indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs.

In the Calgary census metropolitan area, the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 per cent from 7.5 per cent the previous month. The Bank of Canada has expressed confidence that wage growth will pick up its pace.

Friday's Statistics Canada numbers also showed that employees worked 1.2 per cent more hours, year-over-year, compared to the 0.9 per cent reading in December.

The participation rate - the percentage of working age people employed or actively looking for work - in the Montreal region was 66.6 per cent in January, down from 66.8 per cent the month before and from 67.9 in January 2018.

"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote.

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