The Canadian economy lost the most jobs in nine years in January, pulling back after a robust 2017 and solidifying expectations the Bank of Canada will hold interest rates steady next month. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province rose by 46,000, entirely due to increases in full-time work. 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.
"January saw an (88,000) drop in employment, reversing about half of the spectacular gains we registered late past year".
In January 2017, the island's labour force consisted of 54,800 people with 47,100 employed and 7,700 unemployed.
The rate still sits higher than New Zealand's lowest-ever unemployment level of 3.3 per cent, recorded just before the global financial crisis.
Among provinces, B.C. continues to lead the country at 4.8 per cent.
The overall number was dragged down by a loss of 137,000 part-time positions in what was easily the category's largest one-month collapse since the agency started gathering the data in 1976.
But the labor force grew by 1,400 which pushed up the unemployment rate.
The largest employment declines were in Ontario and Quebec.
The labour force participation rate in Canada, also adjusted to USA concepts, was 65.5 per cent in January, compared with 62.7 per cent in the United States.
Statistics Canada had previous reported the national jobless rate for December as 5.7 per cent, but that was revised upward to 5.8 per cent as part of an annual review of the seasonal adjustment factors. On a year-over-year basis, the participation rate declined by 0.3 percentage points in Canada, while it was down 0.2 percentage points in the U.S.