Sask. tied for 2nd lowest unemployment rate in Canada

Sask. tied for 2nd lowest unemployment rate in Canada

Sask. tied for 2nd lowest unemployment rate in Canada

The biggest loss of jobs in a single month in nine years highlighted January's unemployment figures from Statistics Canada, while Victoria's jobless rate gets closer to four per cent.

In Saskatchewan, the unemployment rate fell 1.1 per cent to 5.4 over the revised 6.5 per cent number from December.

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 drop reflected a record loss of 137,000 part-time jobs, and a 49,000 gain in full-time work.

Cape Breton's unemployment rate stood at 14.3 per cent in January, up from 14.1 per cent for the same period in 2017, according to job figures released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

Victoria saw an unemployment increase for the second consecutive month at 3.9 per cent from 3.5.

Ontario had the biggest jobs decline among the provinces, shedding 50,900 positions on a drop in part-time work.

However, the number of those working is up from December, where only 20,300 were employed.

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.

The largest employment declines were in Ontario and Quebec.

The jobless rate in Nanaimo also increased to 4.8 per cent, compared to 4.7 per cent in December.

The nation's economy shed the most jobs at 88,000 since 2009 in January following two months of gains.

With files from the Canadian Press.

"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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