Unemployment rate in Medicine Hat rises in January

10 February, 2018, 08:58 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • By Doug Collins  The Canadian Press

Cape Breton's unemployment rate stood at 14.3 per cent in January, up from 14.1 per cent for the same period in 2017, according to job figures released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

"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.

The closely-watched tech sector, meanwhile, added 2,400 jobs in the first month of the year.

"We also need to watch to see if our community is affected by the loss of part-time work like elsewhere in Ontario".

The drop was driven by a 137,000 decline in part-time work, the biggest on record, which eclipsed a 49,000 increase in full-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. Ms. Donald said Ontario's losses were proportional to the economy.

A chart showing unemployment rates by province for January 2018.

"Given that it was concentrated in Ontario I think it's fair to say there's some kind of impact there". 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. Some businesses have said they would have to lay off employees and increase prices to offset higher labour costs.

Statistics Canada said the largest employment declines were in Ontario and Quebec.




Statscan's labour-force survey is volatile and has a significant margin of error.

"Market participants are getting schooled in the ways of Canada's employment numbers, and the lesson seems to be that when they're too good to be true, they might not be", CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said in a note.

Traders are now focusing on next week's US consumer-price data, with equity investors took the signal to mean interest rates will rise as inflation gathers pace.

Still, despite the job loss of part-time jobs, Ontario's unemployment rate remained at 5.5 per cent in January as fewer people were participating in the labour market.

The employment drop coincided with an increase in the minimum wage in Canada's largest province - Ontario.

For most of previous year, wage growth was sluggish even though employers were on a hiring spree.

Last month, employment fell for core-aged women (25 to 54 years old), people 55 and older, and youth aged 15 to 24.

When it comes to the Bank of Canada's possible reaction to the January report, Alexander noted the "bad number" could delay the timing of governor Stephen Poloz's next rate hike.

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