Sask. tied for 2nd lowest unemployment rate in Canada

CANADIAN UNEMPLOYMENT IN JANUARY

The number of jobs in Canada fell by 88,000 in January to give the labour market its steepest one-month drop in nine years, Statistics Canada said Friday. By comparison, the number of people who identified as self-employed workers - often seen as a less desirable category that includes unpaid work in a family business - increased last month by 23,900.

"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 Statscan review also revised London area jobless rates for 2017.

Sudbury's poor job performance in recent months is likely related to some extent on the fact Vale closed Coleman Mine in November to fix a ventilation compartment.

"Kathleen Wynne was warned by experts that her overnight minimum wage hike would put our most vulnerable people out of work", Ontario PC economic development critic Monte McNaughton said in a statement.

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.

The decrease was driven by the loss of 137,000 part-time positions, including more than 59,000 in Ontario. That fuelled an acceleration of the national wage rate to an annualized pace of 3.3 percent that was the fastest since 2015.

The largest employment declines were in Ontario and Quebec.

The local job market is in contrast with the national picture as Canada's unemployment rate rose to 5.9 per cent in January, up from 5.7 per cent in December 2017.

The province hiked minimum wage by some 20 per cent to $14 per hour at the beginning of the year, a move some economists said could result in mass job losses as employers look to reduce costs.

The Canadian dollar weakened against the greenback following the report before reversing to trade modestly firmer.

"All told, this does not change the story for the Canadian economy much". Some research has suggested a reduction in hours or jobs follow mandated wage bumps, while other studies suggest no long-term connection between wage increases and dips in employment rates. Full-time employment is up 558,900 over the past 18 months, near record levels hit in 2000. The current stock market rout, for instance, began last Friday after U.S.jobs data showed wages there growing more than anticipated, raising worries that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates more quickly than expected.

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