January unemployment edges up nationwide but unchanged in Victoria, Stats Canada

The Canadian economy added nearly 67,000 net new jobs in January with strong gains in the private sector

Local employment grew in January, pushing the jobless rate down to an estimated 5.9 per cent, from 6.3 per cent in December, according to Statistics Canada figures released Friday.

"Following a quieter month in December", when the economy generated only 9,300 new jobs, January's figures "blew past expectations" commented Royce Mendes of CIBC Economics, for a modest gain of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.

(StatsCan warns with unadjusted data, one can not make month-to-month comparisons since different seasonal factors influence each month).

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. edged up to 5.5% in the first month of 2019. It was 6.4 per cent in Toronto. "We actually saw a record gain in private-sector payrolls".

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"As demonstrated in the newest results, higher wages, low unemployment and good jobs in British Columbia show that people are at the centre of our strong and stable economy".

The Bank of Canada has been monitoring wage growth ahead of its interest-rate decisions as it tries to determine how well indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs.

She said the struggles of energy-producing provinces, which began with the late-2014 oil slump, have been a big factor that has dragged down national wage-growth numbers.

Capital Economics also thinks the surprising job gains won't change the Bank of Canada's mind.

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The census field covering oil and gas, forestry and mining jobs saw 100 jobs added compared to the same period previous year, and 200 jobs lost month-over-month. The central bank stayed on the sidelines last month after five hikes since July 2017, and most analysts expect no action.

The region also lost 700 full-time jobs and gained 400 part-time jobs month-over-month.

When comparing the Lethbridge-Medicine Hat region, the unemployment rate is at 5.4 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent last month, according to the province's labour force statistics.

The increase in unemployment continues to rise, even slightly.

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