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Unemployment rate by province and territory in January 2024. Image: Statistics Canada

Unemployment rate falls as Canada adds 37K jobs

By Brad Perry Feb 9, 2024 | 12:35 PM

Canada added 37,000 jobs in January following three months of little change, according to Statistics Canada.

At the same time, the country’s unemployment rate fell for the first time in 13 months, edging down to 5.7 per cent.

Employment gains were spread across several industries in the services-producing sector, said StatCan.

Wholesale and retail trade led the increases, followed by finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing.

There were declines in a number of other industries, led by accommodation and food services.

StatCan said the labour force participation rate fell as the population not in the labour force increased at a faster rate than the total population aged 15 and older.

The employment rate — the proportion of the working-age population that is employed — fell to 61.6 per cent in January, the fourth consecutive monthly decline.

StatCan said the employment rate fell among core-aged women and men, as well as young women. It rose among young and older men and held steady among older women.

Average hourly wages among employees rose 5.3 per cent year-over-year to $34.75. That followed an increase of 5.4 per cent in December.

Here in Nova Scotia, we lost 500 full-time jobs and added 4,300 part-time positions for a net increase of 3,700.

But the unemployment rate jumped 1.1 percentage points to 7.0 per cent as the labour force increased by more than 10,000.

The full report can be found on Statistics Canada’s website.