Economy losses 213,000 jobs in January – Statistics Canada

The Canadian economy lost almost 213,000 jobs in January as employment fell to the lowest level since August last year, wiping out the gains made in the fall.

Employment fell by 213,000 (-1.2%) in January. Losses were entirely in part-time work and were concentrated in the Quebec and Ontario retail trade sectors, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

The decline in January followed a 53,000 drop (-0.3%) in December and brought employment to its lowest level since August 2020, it noted.

Compared with February 2020, employment was down 858,000 in January and COVID-related absences from work were up 529,000. Among Canadians who worked at least half their usual hours, the number working from home increased by nearly 700,000 to 5.4 million in January, surpassing the previous high of 5.1 million in April.

The unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 9.4%, the highest rate since August 2020.

The number of long-term unemployed (people who have been looking for work or who have been on temporary layoff for 27 weeks or more) remained at a record high (512,000).

The labour force participation rate—defined as the percentage of the population aged 15 and older who are employed or unemployed—fell 0.3 percentage points in January to 64.7%, the lowest rate since August 2020.



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