B.C. loses more jobs than any other province in December

It’s the sixth time in seven months the province has lost jobs

What happened: B.C. shed 7,700 jobs in December, according to Statistics Canada

Why it matters: It’s the sixth time in seven months the province has lost jobs

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It appears the B.C. job markets ended up with a lump of coal over the holiday season.

New data out Friday (Janu. 10) from Statistics Canada reveals the province lost 7,700 jobs in December — more than any other province in the nation.

It’s the sixth time in seven months that B.C. had shed jobs.

Nationwide, however, the labour force added 35,000 jobs as Ontario (+20,400 jobs) and Quebec (+21,100 jobs) made sizeable gains.

Although job numbers fell sharply on the West Coast, the unemployment rate retained the crown of Canada’s lowest at 4.8 per cent, down 0.2 percentage points from a month earlier.

Sectors facing the biggest losses include finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (-6,800 jobs), public administration (-3,600 jobs) and educational services (-3,300 jobs).

Meanwhile, construction (+9,200 jobs), health care and social assistance (+5,200 jobs) and accommodation and food services (+2,800 jobs) were the big winners last month.

“After November's across-the-board disappointment, one could be forgiven for a bit of nervousness ahead of today's report. By no means was the December report a barnburner, but neither is it too concerning,” TD senior economist Brian DePratto said in a note to investors, referring to the national figures.

“Today's data is consistent with [Bank of Canada] governor [Stephen] Poloz's remarks yesterday, where he played it cool. Some aspects of the jobs data, such as wages, have been performing well, while others, such as hours, have not been.”

torton@biv.com

@reporton

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