B.C. adds 8,700 jobs in January amid ‘solid’ labour market

B.C. is continuing its rally of monthly job gains, adding another 8,700 positions in January.

But as more people entered the workforce last month the province’s unemployment rate edged up 0.3 percentage points to 4.7 per cent between December and January, according released Friday (Feb. 8) from Statistics Canada.

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Despite the gain, B.C. still maintains the lowest unemployment rate among the provinces.

The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, increased 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 per cent.

Like B.C., the gain in unemployment came as more people entered the workforce.

Overall, the country added 66,800 jobs last month.

“Labour markets still look solid. However, from the Bank of Canada’s perspective, a more telling factor in today’s report that argues against any rush to hike rates are indications that wage gains remain moderate,” RBC assistant chief economist Paul Ferley wrote in a note to investors.

“The annual increase in average hourly earnings did rise to 1.8 per cent in January from 1.5 per cent in December though it is still indicative of flat real wage growth.”

Ferley said his bank forecasts the country’s central bank will raise it overnight right 50 basis points over the course of 2019.

torton@biv.com

@reporton

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