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Canada's jobless rate edges higher to 5.8 pct in January

11 February 2019

Employment declined for the second straight month in the province.

The unemployment rate has seen an overall decrease since last January, dropping 0.7 per cent.

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

Another month, another unemployment rate increase in Prince George. Employment in the accommodations and food services sector grew by 5,600 jobs, and transport and warehousing employment grew by 6,400 jobs.

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The national unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent in January, up from the 43-year low of 5.6 per cent in December. There were 200 fewer jobs in January but from a year ago employment in the region was higher by 33,800 positions.

However, the number of people working also declined as people left the workforce. The youth jobless rate edged up to 11.2 per cent, from 11.1 per cent in December as more young people looked for work. The unemployment rate continued to hover at about 5.5 per cent. Year-over-year, Saskatchewan gained 7,700 jobs.

The biggest boost came from the number of private-sector employee positions, which climbed by 111,500 in January for the category's biggest month-to-month increase since the agency started collecting the data point in 1976.

The numbers Friday also showed that, year-over-year, the number of employee hours worked were up 1.2 per cent compared to 0.9 per cent in December.

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"The wild ride continues for Canadian employment readings".

Stats Canada reports the economy created 66,800 net new jobs last month.

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". The unemployment rate did rise, but only because of an increase in the participation rate.

Even with the improvement, the January number remained just under the inflation level, which suggests Canadians' salaries could have a tough time keeping up with rising prices for consumer goods.

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"That said, first quarter growth is still setting up to be somewhat weak given what we know is happening in the oil patch".

Canada's jobless rate edges higher to 5.8 pct in January