B.C. adds 8,700 jobs in January amid ‘solid’ labour market

Daniel Fowler
February 11, 2019

But the trends were slightly different in the major markets of Calgary and Edmonton.

Total hours worked are up 1.2 per cent over the same period, according to StatsCan, compared to 0.9 per cent in December.

The government organization released the monthly report for January 2019, showing Medicine Hat's unemployment rate hit 7.7 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent in December 2018. There were 200 fewer jobs in January but from a year ago employment in the region was higher by 33,800 positions.

There was an increase in people working in service-producing industries led by wholesale and retail trade, professional, scientific and technical services, and public administration.

But analysts warned the 52,800 job bump among youth may simply be catch-up after losses in previous months, noting the unemployment rate for youth was little changed at 11.2 percent as more looked for work.

Wages for permanent employees accelerated to 1.8 per cent in January from 1.5 per cent in December, and overall wage growth ran steady at two per cent.

Most of the jobs were in the private sector, which recorded the biggest month-to-month increase since the agency started collecting the data point in 1976. At the same time, the number of self-employed declined by 61,000.

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"The wild ride continues for Canadian employment readings".

Canada saw 66,800 net new jobs in January, fuelled by a hiring surge in the private sector.

"There had been some risk going into the report that a big print was coming, given that the survey had lagged the job gains seen in the more reliable payrolls report over the past year". For last month, the rate was at 7.8%, an increase of 0.8% from December.

In Toronto, the participation rate was 66.2 per cent in January and the employment rate was 62.4 per cent.

The economy shed 32,300 goods sector positions, mostly in agriculture and construction.

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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