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Canadian job market bounces back — for now

7 FEB 2014

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OTTAWA — Canada’s employment picture turned positive in January — but scratch the surface and not much has really changed.

The economy gained 29,400 workers last month, the biggest jump since August, clawing back some of the huge declines at the end of 2013 and pushing the employment rate lower.

Most of the new jobs in January — totalling 14,700 — were in the public sector, Statistics Canada said Friday, while the private sector lost 13,600 staff. The ranks of the self-employed swelled by 28,300.

Full-time employment increased by 50,500, compared to a decline in part-time workers of 21,100.

The unemployment rate declined to 7% from 7.2% the previous month. Analysts had predicted January job creation of about 20,000, with the unemployment rate easing to 7.1%.

“While self-employment includes some high-income professionals and entrepreneurs, the jump in self-employment in the context of a poor job market suggests that many Canadians are trying to eke out income through contract work because employers are not offering paid positions,” said Erin Weir, an economist with the United Steelworkers union.

“The other troubling trend is that 21,000 Canadians dropped out of the labour force altogether in January. While their departure reduced the official unemployment count, it reflects a lack of job opportunities rather than an improvement.”


Read full article: Financial Post