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Part-time jobs keep unemployment rate stable in January: StatsCan


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New part-time work was a driving influence as Canada’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in January, Statistics Canada reports today.

Employment increased by 35,000 in January resulting in an unemployment rate decline of 0.1 percentage points to 6.6 per cent. Part-time employment increased by 47,000 and full time was little changed. In the 12 months to January, employment increased by 128,000 (+0.7 per cent) with most of the growth in the second half of the period.

In January, employment increased among women aged 55 and over, while there was little change in the other demographic groups, including men and women aged 25 to 54 whose unemployment rates remained at 5.6 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively.

Provincially, employment rose in Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in January. At the same time, there was a decline in Saskatchewan.


There were more people working in professional, scientific and technical services in January, while employment declined in natural resources.

The number of self-employed workers increased in January and there was little change in the number of private and public sector employees.

Provincial summary

In Quebec, employment increased by 16,000 in January, the first notable gain since March 2014. In the 12 months to January 2015, overall employment in the province was virtually unchanged. The unemployment rate was 7.4 per cent in January.

Employment in Alberta rose by 14,000 in January, bringing gains over the past 12 months to 67,000 or 3.0 per cent, the fastest growth rate among the provinces. Year-over-year employment gains in Alberta were in health care and social assistance as well as in transportation and warehousing, while there was a decrease in retail and wholesale trade. Employment in natural resources was little changed on a year-over-year basis, but it was down 13,000 (-7.2 per cent) from the most recent peak in September 2014. The unemployment rate in the province was 4.5 per cent in January.

In January, employment increased by 3,400 in New Brunswick. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 per cent as more people participated in the labour market. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was unchanged.

Employment in January was also up in Prince Edward Island (+1,000) and the unemployment rate declined 0.9 percentage points to 10.2 per cent.

In Saskatchewan, employment decreased by 8,400 in January and the unemployment rate increased 0.8 percentage points to 4.5 per cent. Despite fewer people working in January, employment was unchanged compared with 12 months earlier.

Employment in the remaining provinces was little changed between December and January.


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