Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Canada sheds 88000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

Canada sheds 88000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

Provincial summary The drop in the number of people employed also coincided with an increase in the minimum wage in Canada's largest province, Ontario.

UNEMPLOYMENT in New Zealand has fallen to its lowest level in nine years.

The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 per cent - its lowest since March 2017 - as a result of the gains, down from 5.5 per cent in December.

Although Ontario shed 51,000 jobs in January, Statistics Canada data suggest the losses are not attributable to the province's decision to raise the minimum hourly rate to $14 from $11.60 last month. But those were more than offset by the 9,200 jobs lost following the holiday season.

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It's the largest unemployment decline in a single month since 2009.

In addition, the unemployment rate rose by 10 basis points which now stands at 5.9% versus the 5.8% forecast.

"Market participants are getting schooled in the ways of Canada's employment numbers, and the lesson seems to be that when they're too good to be true, they might not be", CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said in a note. Despite the drop, Ontario's unemployment edged down ever so slightly (to 5.5 per cent) as 54,800 people left the labour force.

But on the other hand, the agency said the economy generated 49,000 full-time positions last month.

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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.

Ontario, which increased its minimum wage in January, was the biggest loser in January, shedding 50,900 jobs in the month.

"This is still a solid job market, we will have to monitor how the market adjusts to the minimum wage", Brittany Baumann, a macro strategist at TD Securities, said by phone from Toronto.

With files from Canadian Press. "However, it does bring the job market back down to Earth", said Porter in online release. "Even prior to this week's financial market gyrations and this weak jobs data, we were of the view that the [Bank of Canada] would wait until the second half of the year before hiking [interest rates] again - these developments only embolden that view", Porter wrote in a commentary.

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