In the 12 months to January, employment increased by 0.7% (+126,000). Over the same period, the unemployment rate rose from 6.6% to 7.2%, as the labour force grew at a faster pace than employment.
There was little change in both full-time and part-time employment in January. However, compared with 12 months earlier, full-time work increased by 172,000 (+1.2%) while part time was little changed. Over the same period, the number of hours worked rose by 1.2%.
Employment in Alberta decreased by 10,000 in January. This brought year-over-year declines to 35,000 (-1.5%), as losses in full-time work (-73,000) were partly offset by gains in part time (+38,000). The employment decrease in January raised the unemployment rate in the province to 7.4%, the highest since February 1996. The unemployment rate in Alberta was higher than the national rate for the first time since December 1988.
Chart 3 Unemployment rates in Alberta and Canada
In Manitoba, employment decreased by 5,300 in January, the second decline in three months. With these recent losses, employment in the province was down 1.0% (-6,600) compared with January 2015. At 6.1% in January, the unemployment rate was little changed as fewer people participated in the labour market.
Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador fell by 2,400 in January, continuing a recent downward trend that began in the autumn of 2015. In the 12 months to January, employment losses in the province totalled 7,400 (-3.1%). The unemployment rate was unchanged at 14.4% in January as fewer people participated in the labour market.
For a second month in a row, Ontario was the lone province with employment growth, up 20,000 in January. However, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7% as more people participated in the labour market. In the 12 months to January, employment in the province increased by 100,000 (+1.5%).