Stats Canada reports January unemployment rise in Victoria, Nanaimo and Canada

The drop in jobs was driven by a 137,000 decline in part-time work the biggest fall

The drop in jobs was driven by a 137,000 decline in part-time work the biggest fall

Compared to January 2017, there were 1500 more jobs in the province last month.

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

"You had a couple of months of inordinately strong job gains toward the end of a year ago".

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

"If you take a six-month average, you're still sitting pretty close to 20,000, which is what people generally view as being consistent with a Canadian economy that's either at trend or slightly above trend from the rear-view perspective", David Tulk, Toronto-based institutional portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments, said by phone. The Northeast had the lowest unemployment in B.C. last month.

When it comes to the Bank of Canada's possible reaction to the January report, Alexander noted the "bad number" could delay the timing of governor Stephen Poloz's next rate hike.

Economists look at the number of jobs in a community rather than the unemployment in determining an area's economic health.

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However, several experts made sure to note that before trying to draw conclusions from the January report, one should consider the well-known month-to-month volatility in the jobs figures.

"We will want to see a few more months of data to judge whether there has been an impact from the minimum-wage hike", said Josh Nye, economist with RBC.

Nationally, 2018 got off to a bad start as the Canadian economy lost 88,000 jobs and the jobless rate rose from 5.8 per cent to 5.9 per cent. The current stock market rout, for instance, began last Friday after data showed wages there growing more than anticipated, raising worries that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates more quickly than expected.

"Today's sour news is at least in part an offset to the unusually strong gains seen late previous year, and most likely does not represent the start of new trend".

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

January's job losses lowered expectations that the Bank of Canada would hike interest rates at its next rate announcement scheduled for March.

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