Canada’s January Jobs Report showed a staggering loss of 88,000 jobs.  This was the most significant drop in nine years and was attributed to a record 137,000 plunge in part-time work.  Full-time employment gained 49,000 new jobs but wasn’t enough to see the unemployment rate tick up to 5.9%.

The January jobs report brings an end to an impressive run of 17-months of gains.  While losing 88,000 jobs is certainly significant, it only retraced about 60% of the 146,000 jobs created over the past two months.

The Bank of Canada will undoubtedly take a cautious approach towards further interest rate increases.  Over the past 15 years, the job market in Canada has been quite robust compared to historical numbers.  More than 400,000 net new jobs were created in Canada during 2017.  Experts are now predicting the Bank of Canada will be cautious at its next policy meeting in March.  The feeling is now that interest rates won’t increase in March as soon had earlier predicted.

The average hourly wage posted a jump of 3.3% on a year-over-year basis, the strongest gain since March 2016.  Most of the gains were attributed to the rise in the Ontario minimum wage to $14.00/hour.  Ontario now has the highest minimum wage in Canada.

UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS BY PROVINCE

Unemployment by ProvinceEmployment losses were greatest in Quebec and Ontario while Manitoba and New Brunswick saw gains.  Many industries saw losses including finance, social assistance, healthcare, insurance, real estate rental and leasing, scientific and technical issues and construction.   January jobs report showed increases in support services, building, and business.

On an annualized basis, Canada’s economy has still gained 288,700 jobs over the past 12 months.  Keep in mind, 146,000 of those jobs were gained in November and December alone.  Over the past 18 months, full-time employment has added 558,900 jobs – an unprecedented number.

January Jobs Report