Saskatchewan Unemployment rate second-best among provinces in the country

10 February, 2018, 09:47 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • Statistics Canada says Ontario shed 50,800 jobs total from December 2017 gaining 8,500 full-time positions but losing 59,300 part-time gigs

"Kathleen Wynne was warned by experts that her overnight minimum wage hike would put our most vulnerable people out of work", Ontario PC economic development critic Monte McNaughton said in a statement.

The drop was driven by a 137,000 decline in part-time work, the biggest on record, which eclipsed a 49,000 increase in full-time positions.

Economists look at the number of jobs in a community rather than the unemployment in determining an area's economic health. Ontario saw a net loss of 51,000 jobs.

"Given that it was concentrated in Ontario I think it's fair to say there's some kind of impact there".

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.

"Now part of that might be reflecting the increase in minimum wages in Ontario because that increase in minimum wage is impacting more than 20 per cent of all the workers in Ontario".

Statscan's labour-force survey is volatile and has a significant margin of error.

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"It's good to see the local job market has remained healthy and most signs point to that continuing, as we know employers are looking for people", Jill Halyk, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie, said Friday.

"The Canadian economy experienced a very large setback in January ... but it also needs to be kept in perspective - we had outstandingly strong job growth over the course of previous year", Craig Alexander, chief economist for the Conference Board of Canada, said in an interview.

The wage improvements in January arrived the same month that saw Ontario take the controversial step of raising its minimum wage. Halifax had an unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent in January, down from seven per cent in December.

The higher minimum rate could have underpinned Canada's stronger wage growth. The unemployment rate rose to 6.5 per cent in January, up from 6.2 per cent the month before.

Yet, in most cases, the data suggest the greater proportion of employees with hourly wages at or below C$14 in December, the greater the declines in January.

However, economists also pointed to possible connections between Ontario's minimum wage and Canada's stronger average wage growth of 3.3 per cent in January.

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