Medicine Hat's unemployment rate hit 7.7 per cent in January

The Canadian economy added nearly 67,000 net new jobs in January with strong gains in the private sector

Stats Canada says the national unemployment rate edged up to 5.8 per cent in January from 5.6 per cent in December.

The census field covering oil and gas, forestry and mining jobs saw 100 jobs added compared to the same period a year ago, and 200 jobs lost month-over-month.

Year-over-year average hourly wage growth in January for permanent employees was 1.8 per cent, which was up from December's reading of 1.5 per cent, but still well below its May peak of 3.9 per cent. Stephen from 7.1 to 6.5, Fredericton-Oromocto from 7.9 to 7.7 and Edmundston-Woodstock from 7.4 to 7.3. That's a jump of 0.4 per cent from last month.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 18, 873, 900 people working last month across all of Canada, with 1,162,000 people unemployed.

Employment declined for the second straight month in the province.

The addition of 66,800 jobs came largely from the private sector, which saw a rise in the number of employee positions by 111,500 in January, the biggest monthly increase since 1976. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.

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In Toronto, the participation rate was 66.2 per cent in January and the employment rate was 62.4 per cent.

The Bank of Canada has been monitoring wage growth ahead of its interest-rate decisions as it tries to determine how well indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs.

"On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees rose by 293,000 (+2.5 per cent), while the number of public sector employees grew by 62,000 (+1.7 per cent)".

Gains were split between 30,000 thousand full-time and 36,000 part-time positions.

Decreases were recorded in the goods-producing industries, most notably in agriculture. The details were relatively solid too, with the all of the jobs coming in paid employment and a slight tick up in wage growth despite Ontario's minimum wage increase falling out of the annual calculation.

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