January unemployment edges up nationwide but unchanged in Victoria, Stats Canada

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The unemployment rate in Alberta rose slightly in January as the province shed 15,500 jobs, according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada. Canada's largest province added 41,000 jobs and saw 31,000 more people join the labour force. He added that he used the word "supposedly" because monthly job numbers tend to bounce around a little bit.

Halyk said the Workforce Planning Board's new labour market report was titled Help Wanted: Building the Talent Pool because so many employers are struggling to find workers.

The labour force counts residents who are either working or looking for work (unemployed).

In December of a year ago, the unemployment rate was listed at 4.5%.

The unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 per cent in January from 8.4 per cent in December.

Even with the improvement, the January number remained just under the inflation level, which suggests Canadians' salaries could have a tough time keeping up with rising prices for consumer goods.

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"The unemployment rate did rise, but only because of an increase in the participation rate", he said. In fact, 2018 was B.C.'s highest annual wage growth in the past 10 years.

Jobless rates in the region rose nearly a full percentage point in one month.

In a note to clients Friday, CIBC Chief Economist Royce Mendes wrote the latest job readings were "a auto stuck on one of Canada's clogged highways: speeding up then slowing down just to speed back up again".

The census field covering oil and gas, forestry and mining jobs saw 100 jobs added compared to the same period past year, and 200 jobs lost month-over-month. Many analysts expect governor Stephen Poloz to wait until much later in 2019 before making a move.

The data ended a downward slide in unemployment in the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region, after unemployment began dropping from last June's high of 6.5 per cent.

By region, Ontario and Quebec had the biggest employment increases last month.

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