Employment growth in Canada sputtered in neutral last month as a net gain in Ontario jobs was offset by significant losses in Alberta with its most dismal numbers in a decade and in Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador, Statistics Canada said Friday.
While the national unemployment rate still crept up to 7.2 per cent from 7.1 per cent, more people entered the job market, the agency said in its latest labour force survey.
StatCan says there were 5,700 fewer jobs recorded, but the number was within the survey’s margin of error and not statistically significant.
The report found a nationwide net increase of 19,700 jobs in the services industry only partially made up for the 25,300 net drop in employment in the goods-producing sector. The decline was weighed down by big losses 13,700 positions in agriculture and 11,000 jobs in manufacturing.
By region, the oil-producing provinces of Alberta and Newfoundland were the hardest hit as their job losses climbed amid the severe oil-price slump.
Alberta, the agency said, suffered a net decline of 21,900 full-time positions in January, with the bulk of the decrease concentrated in agriculture and manufacturing. The drop was offset in part by an increase of 11,900 part-time jobs.
(Previous month in brackets)
Saskatchewan 5.6 (5.5)
Regina 4.3 (4.2)
Saskatoon 6.1 (6.4)