Barrie’s jobless rate continues to drop: Statistics Canada

Alberta's job market shrunk in December of last year according to the latest figures released Friday

Alberta's job market shrunk in December of last year according to the latest figures released Friday

"Employment held steady in December", Statistics Canada said in a statement.

Barrie's jobless rate is now the third lowest in the province, sitting behind Guelph and Hamilton, which recorded unemployment numbers of 2.3 per cent and 4.3 per cent, respectively.

The West Coast was second only to Ontario (+17,600) in terms of gains among provinces, while Alberta was cut deep with job losses mounting to 16,900.

Overall, the nation added a total of 9,300 jobs to the workforce in December while the national unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.6 per cent.

That followed a gain of 94,100 net jobs in November, the biggest monthly increase since March of 2012.

However, wage growth showed a weak reading of 1.49 percent last month, which was well below inflation.

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The employment rate for December finished at 62.4 per cent. British Columbia remained the lowest with 4.4 per cent.

The rate for Prince Albert and Northern Saskatchewan rose sits almost 2 per cent higher than the province's rate of 5.6 per cent. He pointed to job creation driven by self-employment and part-time labour in December.

Experts have been expecting wages to increase as more people find work.

The Bank of Canada has been monitoring wage growth ahead of its rate decisions as it tries to determine how well indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs. The central bank has pushed its benchmark rate north five times since the summer of 2017, with its next announcement set for Wednesday.

"Following strong growth in both goods and service industries in 2017, overall employment gains in 2018 were recorded nearly entirely in service industries, including health care and social assistance (plus 74,000 or plus 3.1 per cent); business, building and other support services (plus 59,000 or plus 7.8 per cent); transportation and warehousing (plus 56,000 or plus 5.7 per cent); and educational services (plus 33,000 or plus 2.6 per cent)".

With files from The Canadian Press.

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