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Statistics Canada released its job numbers for January on Friday morning and Saskatchewan came out near the top.

The biggest loss of jobs in a single month in nine years highlighted January's unemployment figures from Statistics Canada, while Victoria's jobless rate gets closer to four per cent.

In Ontario, it's thought that some of the part-time job losses were the result of a hike in Ontario's minimum wage which increased to $14 an hour from $11.60 an hour as of January 1, 2018.

Canada Posts Biggest Job Decline Since 2009
Canada sheds 88000 jobs in January, biggest decline since 2009

"We also need to watch to see if our community is affected by the loss of part-time work like elsewhere in Ontario".

The drop in jobs was driven by a 137,000 decline in part-time work, the biggest fall on record, which eclipsed a 49,000 increase in full-time positions.

"The concentration of the job loss in Ontario and the focus upon lost part-time jobs in that province will no doubt feed debate on whether large minimum wage hikes took a toll on employment", Scotiabank's Derek Holt wrote in a note to clients.

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Employment declines were seen across the field, from low-paying jobs in warehousing, retail and wholesale to lucrative areas of professional, scientific and technical services.

The January reading marked the end of a 13-month streak of job gains, however, about half of those positive numbers were within the survey's margin of error.

"Given that it was concentrated in Ontario I think it's fair to say there's some kind of impact there". That compares with December's figures of a 56,200-person labour force, with 48,500 people working and 7,700 looking for work.

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The higher minimum rate could have underpinned Canada's stronger wage growth. The survey also detected stronger wage growth in January of 3.3 per cent, which also led some to point out possible connections to Ontario.

Others didn't expect the January report, on its own, to have a significant impact on the outcome of the Bank of Canada's next rate announcement.

The biggest question from Friday's disappointing Canadian employment report is how much can be traced to Ontario's sharp minimum wage increase last month.

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However, economists also pointed to possible connections between Ontario's minimum wage and Canada's stronger average wage growth of 3.3 per cent in January.


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