Northeast BC unemployment at 5.5% to start 2019

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Good news on the jobs front in Prince George.

Canada's unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent from 5.6 percent in December despite adding 66,800 new jobs in January, according to the results of a survey released by Statistics Canada Friday.

Stats Canada says the national unemployment rate edged up to 5.8 per cent in January from 5.6 per cent in December.

(StatsCan warns with unadjusted data, one can not make month-to-month comparisons since different seasonal factors influence each month).

RED DEER- For the second month in a row the Red Deer area unemployment rate was the lowest in Alberta. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.

With a small estimated population change of only 100 people and the increases in both people working and people looking, the unemployment rate has gone up slightly.

Last week, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said the country has been in a "puzzling" stretch of weak wage growth at a time when the job market has been experiencing one of its biggest labour shortages in years. Employment in the accommodations and food services sector grew by 5,600 jobs, and transport and warehousing employment grew by 6,400 jobs.

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 central bank stayed on the sidelines last month after five hikes since July 2017, and most analysts expect no action.

Part-time job gains outpaced full-time, 36,000 versus 30,900, and youth age 15 to 24 led employment growth, accounting for a whopping 79 percent of total job gains and virtually all the part-time gains.

Year-over-year, the unemployment rate is up from January 2018 when it sat at 3.8%, and when 37,700 people were reported to be employed in a labour force of 39,200.

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

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