Last month was brutal for employees and employers alike, as the Canadian economy suffered a net loss of 88,000 jobs.

According to a Statistics Canada survey, this is largely owing to the loss of 137,000 part-time jobs, since the amount of full-time employment went up by 49,000.

These labour force ups and downs in January 2018 caused Canada’s overall unemployment rate to increase by 0.1%, and it now stands at 5.9%.

The report also notes that all results have been adjusted for seasonal factors such as post-holiday layoffs.

By province

(Unemployment by province/Statistics Canada)
(Stats Can)

The rise in Canada’s overall unemployment rate last month is mostly due to employment declines in Ontario and Quebec, and minor decreases in New Brunswick and Manitoba.

These were all a result of of part-time job losses – a phenomenon that also occurred in Alberta, but was offset by the large amount of full-time employment increases.


By Demographic and Industry

(Statistics Canada)

The predominant groups that became newly unemployed in January were women aged 25-54 years, followed by people 55 years and older, and youth aged between 15 and 24 years.

The fields in which employment saw significant declines were wide and varied, including:

  • Educational services
  • Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Construction
  • Health care and social assistance

However the amount of employment increased by 11,000 in industries like business, building, and other support services.