Canada adds nearly 70,000 jobs but unemployment rate creeps higher in January

Economists had expected the addition of 5,000 jobs for the

But as more people entered the workforce last month the province's unemployment rate edged up 0.3 percentage points to 4.7% between December and January.

The rise in the unemployment rate was attributable to an expansion in the labor force with more people seeking jobs.

Most of the jobs were in the private sector, which recorded the biggest month-to-month increase since the agency started collecting the data point in 1976.

The participation rate - the percentage of working age people employed or actively looking for work - in the Montreal region was 66.6 per cent in January, down from 66.8 per cent the month before and from 67.9 in January 2018. The number of self-employed positions, which can include unpaid work, declined by 60,700.

The services sector saw a gain of 99,200 positions, led by new work in wholesale and retail trade, while the goods-producing industries experienced a net loss of 32,300 jobs, the report said. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.

Local numbers are not adjusted for seasonality, meaning they shouldn't be used to compare data month-to-month.

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The latest labour force statistics have been released.

"With annual earnings growth unchanged at 2 per cent, there are still no signs of rising inflationary pressures from the labour market", says Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist, Capital Economics, in a research note.

In Toronto, the participation rate was 66.2 per cent in January and the employment rate was 62.4 per cent.

The average year-over-year wage growth of permanent employees, which is closely watched by the central bank, was 1.8 percent in January, up slightly from 1.5 percent in December. For last month, the rate was at 7.8%, an increase of 0.8% from December.

RED DEER- For the second month in a row the Red Deer area unemployment rate was the lowest in Alberta.

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