Windsor's unemployment rate sees significant drop

Canada shed 88000 jobs in January

The largest employment declines were in Ontario and Quebec.

That trend was reflected nationally, with Canada adding 49,000 full-time jobs compared with the 137,000 part-time jobs that were lost that month.

The Saskatchewan unemployment rate hit a mark of 5.4 percent, which is tied for second best, and sits five points better than the national average at 5.9 percent.

It wasn't just Ontario that saw wage growth of more than 3 per cent. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia recorded increases over that level, with the westernmost province's wages rising almost 4 per cent.

According to Statistics Canada's monthly labour force survey, there were 5,000 more people working in the region in January as there were 192,700 people employed last month compared with 187,700 at the same time previous year.

However, several experts made sure to note that before trying to draw conclusions from the January report, one should consider the well-known month-to-month volatility in the jobs figures.

Statistics Canada says 88,000 jobs were lost in January, the biggest one-month drop in nine years.

"Quite frankly, we were overdue for a bad number".

After a record-breaking string of gains, Canada's job market was due for a pullback, said James Marple, TD senior economist. "However, it does bring the job market back down to Earth", said Porter in online release.

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"I don't think that the January number is the start of a whole series of declines - I think it's more of a reflection of the fact that we were tracking abnormally strong numbers behind us", Alexander said.

"Overall, a mysterious mix of good and bad, with the latter's impact blunted by how strong job gains were in the lead-up to these figures", CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a commentary.

January's job losses lowered expectations that the Bank of Canada would hike interest rates at its next rate announcement scheduled for March.

Job losses were heaviest in the services sector, which shed 71,900 positions in industries including educational services, finance, insurance and real estate.

"We will want to see a few more months of data to judge whether there has been an impact from the minimum-wage hike", said Josh Nye, economist with RBC. The unemployment rate rose to 6.5 per cent in January, up from 6.2 per cent the month before.

By region, the agency said Ontario and Quebec saw the biggest decreases last month, while New Brunswick and Manitoba also had net losses.

Most analysts cautiously highlighted the potential connection.

Ontario shed some 59,300 part-time jobs in January as the province implemented a $2.40 cent minimum wage hike at the start of the month.

"But proving causality may remain contentious".

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