Canadian employment declined by 200,000 (-1.0%) in January following seven consecutive months of gains, according to Statistics Canada. Employment losses in January were driven by stricter public health measures implemented to control Omicron in Ontario, Quebec, and in the Maritimes during the survey reference week of January 9 to 15.
In January, youth, core-aged women, and workers in food and accommodation suffered the largest drops in employment. Part-time workers saw steeper losses (-117,000; -3.3%) relative to full-time workers (-83,000; -0.5%). In January, 10% of workers reported being absent from work due to sickness or injury. The Canadian unemployment rate rose 0.5% to 6.5% in January, while the labour force participation rate declined 0.4% to 65%.
In BC, the economic story diverged from much of the rest of the country. Employment rose modestly (+4,200; 0.2%), remaining at the highest level since the pandemic began. The unemployment rate continued declining in January, reaching 5.1%. For the first time since the pandemic began, the unemployment rate in BC reached pre-pandemic levels, falling below the level of February 2020. BC is now tied with Manitoba for the lowest unemployment rate among the provinces.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.