Barrie’s jobless rate rises slightly, remains below provincial average: Statistics Canada

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The latest labour force estimates were released by Statistics Canada Friday, and they paint a rosy picture with more people working in January 2019 than at this time a year ago.

The government organization released the monthly report for January 2019, showing Medicine Hat's unemployment rate hit 7.7 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent in December 2018.

Provincially, Alberta lost jobs for the second straight month, pushing its unemployment rate up to 6.8 per cent.

The country saw a rush of 66,800 net new jobs in January in a gain fuelled by a hiring surge in the private sector, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The employment rate was down from 62.8 per cent in December to 62.6 per cent in January. Stephen from 7.1 to 6.5, Fredericton-Oromocto from 7.9 to 7.7 and Edmundston-Woodstock from 7.4 to 7.3.

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It's better, he said, to look at the three-month and six-month trends, although he also described those results as solid in recent months.

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

Despite the increase, Barrie's unemployment rate still remains lower than both the provincial and national averages. The employment rate, however, has also risen, growing from 60.4 per cent to 63.2 per cent.

"In January, the number of employees increased by 112,000 in the private sector, while it was little changed in the public sector for the third consecutive month".

"Definitely the headline job gain was very impressive", said BMO chief economist Douglas Porter.

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

"Overall, it's been a good day for readings on the Canadian economy", says Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC, in a research note.

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. The Bank of Canada has expressed confidence that wage growth will pick up its pace.

Gains were split between 30,000 thousand full-time and 36,000 part-time positions.

All told, the nation gained about 67,000 jobs in January, mostly among youth aged 15-24 and in the services-producing industries.

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"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote.