OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The country’s labour market lost 212,800 jobs in January, according to Statistics Canada, which says the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 9.4 per cent last month.
That’s the highest rate since last summer, wiping out the gains made in the fall.
#Breaking Massive job losses in January. Canada labour market loses 212,800 jobs. (estimate down 40,000)
Part-time jobs down 225,000.
Jobless rate spikes to 9.4% from 8.8%.
— mike eppel (@eppman) February 5, 2021
Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate was for a loss of 47,500 jobs in January and an unemployment rate of 8.9 per cent.
Statistics Canada says job losses were almost entirely concentrated in Ontario and Quebec, and mostly in the retail sector as COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions closed many businesses.
Employment declines were heavy in the services sector and part-time work fuelling the largest monthly decline since April when some two million jobs were lost.
Statistics Canada says the losses in January now put the country 858,300 jobs, or 4.5 per cent, short of employment levels from last February just before the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.