Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Ottawa-Gatineau unemployment rate drops to 5.2%

Ottawa-Gatineau unemployment rate drops to 5.2%

Windsor's job market saw improvements in January from a year ago on two fronts, the unemployment rate and the labour participation rate. Core-aged men saw little change in employment.

Employment declines were seen across the field, from low-paying jobs in warehousing, retail and wholesale to lucrative areas of professional, scientific and technical services.

Provincially, B.C. unemployment sat at 4.8 per cent in January, up slightly from 4.6, after shedding 5,100 jobs. "But Ontario employs 40 per cent of Canadians", she said.

The province of Saskatchewan boasts the second best unemployment rate in the country according to Stats Canada.


However, analysts said it would take months of data to assess the fallout from Ontario's minimum-wage hike and cautioned against reading too much into January's employment declines.

Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey provides estimates of employment and unemployment, based on a sampling of households in the communities.

"It's good to see the local job market has remained healthy and most signs point to that continuing, as we know employers are looking for people", Jill Halyk, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie, said Friday.

Economists look at the number of jobs in a community rather than the unemployment in determining an area's economic health.


"The continued rise in employment in the December quarter - by more than we expected - tips the evidence more in favour of the June quarter survey being an understatement".

Nationally, 2018 got off to a bad start as the Canadian economy lost 88,000 jobs and the jobless rate rose from 5.8 per cent to 5.9 per cent. The unemployment rate in Alberta also fell by 1.7 percent, to 7.0 percent. The growth represents an increase of 2.8 per cent.

For Ontario, some experts raised the possibility of a link between the provincial drop and the introduction last month of a controversial minimum-wage hike. Compared with the year before, average hourly wages for permanent employees expanded 3.3 per cent.

"Now part of that might be reflecting the increase in minimum wages in Ontario because that increase in minimum wage is impacting more than 20 per cent of all the workers in Ontario".


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