Canada blows past forecasts by adding 67,000 new jobs in January

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

Montreal unemployment rate drops below Toronto's (again) in January

The unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 per cent in January from 8.4 per cent in December.

The statistics show that Camrose-Drumheller has the highest unemployment rate of all the economic regions in the province.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 18, 873, 900 people working last month across all of Canada, with 1,162,000 people unemployed. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.

Across the province, the unemployment rate was down slightly from 5.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent - the second-lowest rate in the country, after British Columbia, where the unemployment rate was 4.7 per cent.

"On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees rose by 293,000 (+2.5 per cent), while the number of public sector employees grew by 62,000 (+1.7 per cent)". Employment in the accommodations and food services sector grew by 5,600 jobs, and transport and warehousing employment grew by 6,400 jobs.

"I think it does underscore that for all the doom and gloom in the market, the Canadian economy is not in a awful place in quite a few sectors", said Andrew Kelvin, senior rates strategists at TD Securities.

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In a comparison to last January most regions saw their unemployment rate decline.

The national unemployment rate went up by 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 per cent as more people looked for work.

The Bank of Canada has been monitoring wage growth ahead of its interest-rate decisions as it tries to determine how well indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs.

Part-time job gains outpaced full-time, 36,000 positions versus 30,900, respectively, and youth aged 15 to 24 led employment growth, adding 52,800 jobs.

This came despite a net increase of 1,900 jobs from December to January because the labour force - which includes people looking for work - swelled by 4,000.

By region, Ontario and Quebec had the biggest employment increases last month.

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