Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

Saskatchewan Unemployment rate second-best among provinces in the country

Saskatchewan Unemployment rate second-best among provinces in the country

"A mysterious mix of good and bad, with the latter's impact blunted by how strong job gains were in the lead up to these figures", Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said in a note to investors.

The jobless rate in Nanaimo also increased to 4.8 per cent, compared to 4.7 per cent in December.

Nationally, It was payback time for Canada's labor market in January, Bloomberg News reported, with the biggest monthly job loss since the last recession - all part-time - as employers faced quickening wage gains.

It was the largest monthly drop for the province since 2009.

As well there were 6200 full-time jobs created month-over-month.

The decrease was driven by the loss of 137,000 part-time positions, including more than 59,000 in Ontario. Some research has suggested a reduction in hours or jobs follow mandated wage bumps, while other studies suggest no long-term connection between wage increases and dips in employment rates.

The Canadian economy lost the most jobs in nine years in January, pulling back after a robust 2017 as losses were heaviest in the service sectors, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

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The claim could cost Britain's biggest supermarket up to £20,000 per worker in back pay over at least six years. The company's market share, however, continued to decline, dipping 0.3 percentage points to 27.8 percent.

"If you take a six-month average, you're still sitting pretty close to 20,000, which is what people generally view as being consistent with a Canadian economy that's either at trend or slightly above trend from the rear-view perspective", David Tulk, Toronto-based institutional portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments, said by phone.

Yet, in most cases, the data suggest the greater proportion of employees with hourly wages at or below C$14 in December, the greater the declines in January.

Over that same period, the number of part-time positions fell by 125,400 for a contraction of 3.5 per cent.

Most analysts cautiously highlighted the potential connection.

Ontario's Economic Development Minister Steven Del Duca ‎dismissed concerns that the drop in part-time jobs was due to the government's decision to raise the minimum wage to $14 five weeks ago, an increase of $2.40 per hour that many businesses said was too much. They'll scrutinize incoming data over the next few months to get a better sense of the kind of impact Ontario's minimum-wage increase could have on the provincial job market.

"But proving causality may remain contentious".

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