Ontario sheds 59000 part-time jobs in January

The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

The Canadian economy dropped a net 88,000 jobs in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, Statistics Canada said Friday. While the unemployment rate increased to 5.9 per cent in January, it's still near its record low of 5.8 per cent and the faster wage gains may give policy makers at the Bank of Canada more fodder to worry about inflation.

The region saw its unemployment rate at 3.8 per cent for the month, a dramatic rebound from one year ago when unemployment sat at 10.5 per cent at the start of 2017.

Across the province, the unemployment rate was up 0.4 percentage points to 5.4 per cent, that was driven by declines in part-time employment and more people looking for work.

Sudbury's poor job performance in recent months is likely related to some extent on the fact Vale closed Coleman Mine in November to fix a ventilation compartment.

Despite the increase in unemployment, the Montreal region added more than 11,000 jobs between December and January.

"Overall, a mysterious mix of good and bad, with the latter's impact blunted by how strong job gains were in the lead-up to these figures", CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a research note to clients. There were 1,300 fewer adults looking for work.

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That trend was reflected nationally, with Canada adding 49,000 full-time jobs compared with the 137,000 part-time jobs that were lost that month. The number employed dropped by 51,000 but all the declines were in part-time jobs.

The January reading marked the end of a 13-month streak of job gains, however, about half of those positive numbers were within the survey's margin of error.

Reasons for not wanting to work include caring for family or going to school, he said.

The employment drop coincided with an increase in the minimum wage in Canada's largest province - Ontario.

Wage growth also received a boost in January, a month that saw Ontario lift its minimum wage.

With files from Canadian Press.

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