Canada's jobless rate edges higher to 5.8 pct in January
10 February, 2019, 17:41 | Author: Eric Barnett
But as more people entered the workforce last month the province's unemployment rate edged up 0.3 percentage points to 4.7 per cent between December and January, according released Friday (Feb. 8) from Statistics Canada.
When comparing the Lethbridge-Medicine Hat region, the unemployment rate is at 5.4 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent last month, according to the province's labour force statistics.
There was an increase in people working in service-producing industries led by wholesale and retail trade, professional, scientific and technical services, and public administration.
The national unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent in January, up from its 43-year low of 5.6 per cent in December.
The only region that saw a increase since last January was the Campbellton-Miramichi, where unemployment rose from to 14.7 per cent from 13.2.
Alberta, hit hard by the oil-price decline, shed jobs for a second-straight month and saw its jobless rate rise to 6.8 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent.
In December of past year, the unemployment rate was listed at 4.5%.
Overall, employment gains were driven entirely by private sector employees while the number of self-employed decreased.
Alberta lost 15,500 jobs from December to January, with 14,600 of those being full-time, the Statistics Canada data showed.
"There had been some risk going into the report that a big print was coming, given that the survey had lagged the job gains seen in the more reliable payrolls report over the past year".
Even with the improvement, the January number remained just under the inflation level, which suggests Canadians' salaries could have a tough time keeping up with rising prices for consumer goods. That said, first quarter growth is still setting up to be somewhat weak given what we know is happening in the oil patch.
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