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Canada sheds 129,000 jobs, unemployment up

February 06 2009

Canada lost 129,000 jobs in January, and the jobless rate rose to 7.2% from December's reading of 6.6%, Statistics Canada reported today. Job losses were concentrated in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Manufacturing was the hardest-hit sector, suffering its largest monthly decline on record with a loss of 100,900 jobs.

Total employment in Canada fell to just under 17.0 million in January. Most of the losses were in full-time jobs, which decreased by 113,900.

Despite losses in some other sectors, healthcare and social assistance stood out by adding 31,000 positions.

Ontario shed 71,000 jobs in January. And the province's jobless rate rose to 8.0% from 7.2% in the previous month.

Saskatchewan posted the lowest unemployment rate among provinces at 4.1%. Alberta, which has posted the lowest rate for some time, registered an unemployment rate of 4.4% in January.

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