Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

Cape Breton unemployment rate up 0.3 per cent

Cape Breton unemployment rate up 0.3 per cent

Adjusted to USA concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 4.9 per cent in January, compared with 4.1 per cent in the United States.

The unemployment rate in Cape Breton increased by 0.6 per cent from December where it stood at 13.7 per cent.

The number of jobs in Canada fell by 88,000 last month to give the labour market its steepest one-month drop in nine years.

However, analysts said it would take months of data to assess the fallout from Ontario's minimum-wage hike and cautioned against reading too much into January's employment declines.

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

For example, the previous two labour surveys shocked markets when they showed employers added a total of 160,000 new positions.

"Overall, a mysterious mix of good and bad, with the latter's impact blunted by how strong job gains were in the lead-up to these figures", CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a research note to clients.

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Employment in Ontario declined by 51,000 in January, entirely due to losses in part-time work. They'll scrutinize incoming data over the next few months to get a better sense of the kind of impact Ontario's minimum-wage increase could have on the provincial job market.

It wasn't just Ontario that saw wage growth of more than 3 per cent. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia recorded increases over that level, with the westernmost province's wages rising almost 4 per cent.

Economists said January's hefty drop was to be expected after such a strong year and was unlikely to change the Bank of Canada's trajectory of more interest rate hikes to come in 2018.

The wage improvements in January arrived the same month that saw Ontario take the controversial step of raising its minimum wage. Thomas unemployment rate ends 2017 at 6.2% . The country's average hourly rate climbed 3.3 per cent to $26.83 over January of past year, the first time since March, 2016, that wages grew faster than 3 per cent. The growth represents an increase of 2.8 per cent.

Average hourly wages jumped 3.3 percent from last January, the strongest since March 2016.

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

"It doesn't change the broader narrative around the Bank of Canada".

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