Sudbury sheds more jobs in January: Statscan

Canada Posts Biggest Job Decline Since 2009

Porter said weak jobs report in January make it more likely the Bank of Canada will move slowly on more hikes to interest rates.

The unemployment rate in the province was little changed at 5.5 per cent as fewer people participated in the job market.

The average hourly wage of permanent employees climbed 3.3 per cent from last January, the strongest rate of gains since March 2016.

Compared to January 2017, unemployment in Nanaimo has fallen from 5.9 per cent.

The number was influenced by a drop of 137,000 part-time positions, the largest single-month slump on record.

The unemployment rate edged up to 5.9 per cent from December's revised 5.8 per cent. In Ontario, 51,000 jobs were lost followed by Quebec which saw a decline of 17,000 jobs. It was the largest monthly drop for the province since 2009.

"The data itself, when you look in the weeds, does not suggest that the minimum-wage hike in Ontario is the cause of the weakness", said Frances Donald, senior economist with Manulife Asset Management.

Canada racked up strong employment gains previous year, creating more than 400,000 jobs and setting the fastest pace of growth since 2002. The market consensus was for a loss of roughly 9,000 jobs. Pay started to increase late summer and accelerated to as high as 2.8 per cent in November.

The jobless figure fell by more than half a per cent in Quebec City to 3.3 per cent. 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.

The wage improvements in January arrived the same month that saw Ontario take the controversial step of raising its minimum wage. She cited the full-time job gain, faster wages and a low unemployment rate as signs of a resilient labor market.

Employment declines were seen across the field, from low-paying jobs in warehousing, retail and wholesale to lucrative areas of professional, scientific and technical services.

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