New Brunswick adds 3,600 jobs in January, pushing unemployment rate down

In Prince Albert and Northern Saskatchewan, which includes data for our region, year-over-year, the unemployment rate vaulted to 7.8 per cent from 6.7. Following a quieter month in December, volatility returned, with the Labour Force Survey suggesting 67,000 jobs were created in January.

On a year-over-year basis, total employment was up 327,000 or 1.8 per cent, reflecting increases in both full-time (+166,000) and part-time (+162,000) work.

The unemployment rate in the Montreal region was down slightly in January from the month before, falling below the level in Toronto once again.

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate last month was 6 per cent, down from 7 per cent in January 2018.

The Bank of Canada looks set to leave interest rates unchanged next month despite bumper jobs numbers in January that far exceeded market expectations and highlighted the strength of the Canadian economy, analysts said.

Locally, the number of people listed as employed has gone up from about 20,600 last year to an estimated 21,600 this year.

Statistics Canada says the private sector drove employment gains nationally, with 112,000 jobs added last month.

"B.C.'s unemployment rate remained the lowest in Canada - for the 1th month in a row - at 4.7%".

Sherry Cooper, chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres, wrote in a research note to clients Friday called the increase in the number of people looking for work a sign of strength, even though it has nudged up the unemployment rate.

That's a jump of 0.4 per cent from last month.

"As demonstrated in the newest results, higher wages, low unemployment and good jobs in British Columbia show that people are at the centre of our strong and stable economy".

"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote. That said, first quarter growth is still setting up to be somewhat weak given what we know is happening in the oil patch.