Canada sheds 88,000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

Overall number was dragged down by a loss of 137,000 part-time positions

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.

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.

Statistics Canada’s latest jobs survey said the net decline helped push the national unemployment rate up to 5.9 per cent in January, from a revised 5.8 per cent the previous month.

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

“Overall, a mysterious mix of good and bad, with the latter’s impact blunted by how strong job gains were in the lead-up to these figures,” CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a research note to clients.

“January saw an (88,000) drop in employment, reversing about half of the spectacular gains we registered late last year. But the details also looking wonky, with all of the job losses in part-time work.”

Even with the overall decline in January, Canada has been on a strong run of job creation that has seen the country add 414,100 full-time jobs over a 12-month period. The growth represents an increase of 2.8 per cent.

Over that same period, the number of less desirable part-time positions declined by 125,400 or 3.5 per cent.

The January reading marked the end of a 13-month streak of job gains, however, about half of those positive numbers were within the survey’s margin of error.

A closer look at the numbers revealed that the number of paid employee positions also experienced a significant loss last month by shedding 112,000 positions.

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.

Wage growth also received a boost in January, a month that saw Ontario lift its minimum wage. Compared with the year before, average hourly wages for permanent employees expanded 3.3 per cent.

By region, the agency said Ontario and Quebec saw the biggest decreases last month, while New Brunswick and Manitoba also had net losses.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley Grand Prix gala likely to outdo last year, organizer predicts

For 250 people, a chance to watch international-calibre riding while raising funds for schools

VIDEO: Walking to fight MS

Annual event draws 150 participants

VIDEO: Langley walk to fight Alzheimer’s took place outdoors and in

Second annual fundraiser at Chartwell Langley Gardens Retirement Community

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Semis catch fire at wrecker off Highway 1 in west Abbotsford

Crews called to scene at around 2 p.m., finding up to six semis that had caught fire at the wrecker

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Most Read