B.C. adds 8700 jobs in January amid 'solid' labour market

Woman looking through a filing cabinet. GETTY IMAGES  Raphye Alexius

Woman looking through a filing cabinet. GETTY IMAGES Raphye Alexius

The unemployment rate in January was 5.5 percent compared to 4.7 percent in December of 2018. Saskatchewan and Alberta lost jobs in January, which could a bigger consideration for the Bank of Canada than the national picture.

The region with the lowest rate in Alberta is Red Deer at 4.4 per cent while the province's overall is 6.8.

The country saw a surprise 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. Stephen from 7.1 to 6.5, Fredericton-Oromocto from 7.9 to 7.7 and Edmundston-Woodstock from 7.4 to 7.3. The central bank stayed on the sidelines last month, after five hikes since July 2017, and most analysts expect it to take no action.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 18, 873, 900 people working last month across all of Canada, with 1,162,000 people unemployed.

In B.C., Stats Canada says the unemployment rate climbed three-tenths to 4.7 per cent in January, still the lowest of any Canadian province. One year ago, the region's unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent.

In a note to clients Friday, CIBC Chief Economist Royce Mendes wrote the latest job readings were "a vehicle stuck on one of Canada's clogged highways: speeding up then slowing down just to speed back up again".

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The increase in unemployment continues to rise, even slightly.

Employment was up 0.9 per cent from January 2019 in Quebec.

Gains were split between 30,000 thousand full-time and 36,000 part-time positions.

The unemployment rate ticked up by 0.2 percentage points as more people looked for work. Most of the jobs went to youth aged 15 to 24 in services-producing industries.

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

Mendes predicted that first quarter economic growth is still likely to be "somewhat weak" due to struggles getting oil to new markets due to regulatory delays in building new pipelines.

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