Employment in Canada was essentially unchanged in January with the total number of employed Canadians dipping by 5,700 people. The national unemployment rate edged slightly higher from 7.1 to 7.2 per cent while the total number of hours worked, which is closely correlated with GDP growth, was up 1.2 per cent over the past 12 months.
In BC, employment grew by a modest 1,200 job to break a string of two consecutive months of monthly job losses. Full-time employment was up an impressive 10,700 jobs while part-time work declined by 9,500. The provincial unemployment rate fell 0.1 points to 6.6 per cent.
In the US, payrolls growth in January came in below expectations, rising by 151,000 jobs, well below the nearly 300,000 jobs per month pace of the past three months. The US unemployment rate edged down 0.1 points to 4.9 per cent.