Canada sheds 88000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

Canada sheds 88000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

Canada sheds 88000 net jobs, but sees full-time gains

"Those looking for the impact of the minimum wage hike in Ontario might find evidence in a 51K drop in that province's employment (all of which was in part time)", wrote CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld.

Economists are always cautious about reading too much into one-month of numbers in a data series that can be volatile.

The jobs survey shows Victoria remains among the lowest in the country with only Quebec City at a lower rate.

The job market is coming off its strongest pace of growth since 2002 after creating more than 400,000 jobs in 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.

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The unemployment rate for Nova Scotia in January was 8.2 per cent, up 0.2 per cent from December.

In the United States, there was a increase of 200,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rates was unchanged at 4.1 per cent.

That trend was reflected nationally, with Canada adding 49,000 full-time jobs compared with the 137,000 part-time jobs that were lost that month.

"The Canadian economy experienced a very large setback in January ... but it also needs to be kept in perspective - we had outstandingly strong job growth over the course of previous year", Craig Alexander, chief economist for the Conference Board of Canada, said in an interview.

"This is still a solid job market, we will have to monitor how the market adjusts to the minimum wage", Brittany Baumann, a macro strategist at TD Securities, said by phone from Toronto.

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It "may be a sign of adjustments made by corporations coping with a minimum wage surge", he said, noting young people ages 15 to 24 lost 24,000 part-time positions. Pay started to increase late summer and accelerated to as high as 2.8 per cent in November.

North American wage growth is raising its own concerns, however.

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

The Dow ended with a 330.44 point or 1.38 per cent gain to 24,190.90, in the wake of Thursday's session that ended with a steep drop marking a 10 per cent decline from the market's peak in January. On a year-over-year basis, the participation rate declined by 0.3 percentage points in Canada, while it was down 0.2 percentage points in the U.S.

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