Canada sheds jobs, employment up in P.A.

By Tyler Marr
February 9, 2018 - 12:00pm

The nation’s economy shed the most jobs at 88,000 since 2009 in January following two months of gains. 

This forced the unemployment rate to tick up 0.1 percentage points to 5.9, according to Statistics Canada monthly data dump on Friday. While part-time employment dropped by 137,000, full-time employment was up by 49,000 jobs. Despite the dip, year-over-year, employment grew by 289,000 or 1.6 per cent.

The drop nationally cools off Canada’s strongest pace of growth since 2002 after creating more than 400,000 jobs in 2017.

In Saskatchewan, the unemployment rate fell 1.1 per cent to 5.4 over the revised 6.5 per cent number from December. The province lost around 5,100 part-time positions but added 6,200 full-time positions. However, those participating in the labour force survey dropped by 5,800, which assisted in the rate fluctuation. 

Locally, while Prince Albert’s unemployment rate was down to 8.4 per cent from 8.7 the year prior, a number of factors contributed to this. In January 2017, there were 21,000 people employed in the city, up from the current 20,600. Fewer people are also participating in the labour force, which reflects those either working or looking for work, down to 66 per cent from 67.8 last January.

However, the number of those working is up from December, where only 20,300 were employed. While the unemployment rate in December was 8.6 per cent, month-over-month comparisons are difficult to make as data is unadjusted for seasonal differences that can influence each month.

The largest employment declines came in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Manitoba. A number of industries were dealt blows in employment, including educational services, finance, professional work, construction, health care and the natural resource sector.

Both the private and public sectors were hit with employment losses, while the number of self-employed workers held steady.


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