New Brunswick adds 3,600 jobs in January, pushing unemployment rate down

New Brunswick adds 3,600 jobs in January, pushing unemployment rate down

The Bank of Canada looks set to leave interest rates unchanged next month despite bumper jobs numbers in January that far exceeded market expectations and highlighted the strength of the Canadian economy, analysts said.

The unemployment figure in Barrie rose slightly to start the new year, with the city recording a jobless rate of 5.1 per cent in January.

In contrast, Alberta saw a second straight month of declines, down 16,000 positions, vaulting the unemployment rate to 6.8 per cent.

Wages for permanent employees accelerated to 1.8 per cent in January from 1.5 per cent in December, and overall wage growth ran steady at two per cent. Stephen from 7.1 to 6.5, Fredericton-Oromocto from 7.9 to 7.7 and Edmundston-Woodstock from 7.4 to 7.3.

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The number is down a full percentage point from January 2018, where the unemployment rate was at 8.7 per cent.

However, the number of people working also declined as people left the workforce.

In B.C., Stats Canada says the unemployment rate climbed three-tenths to 4.7 per cent in January, still the lowest of any Canadian province. It was 6.4 per cent in Toronto.

In a note to clients Friday, CIBC Chief Economist Royce Mendes wrote the latest job readings were "a auto stuck on one of Canada's clogged highways: speeding up then slowing down just to speed back up again".

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He credited recent job gains drawing people back in as for why the participation rate is running at its highest level since 2017.

Employment was up 0.9 per cent from January 2019 in Quebec.

Canada added 30,900 full-time jobs last month and 36,000 part-time positions, the report also said.

The economy shed 32,300 goods sector positions, mostly in agriculture and construction. The details were relatively solid too, with the all of the jobs coming in paid employment and a slight tick up in wage growth despite Ontario's minimum wage increase falling out of the annual calculation.

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"That said, first quarter growth is still setting up to be somewhat weak given what we know is happening in the oil patch".

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