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Canada blows past forecasts by adding 67,000 new jobs in January

FILE PHOTO (REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo)

The Canadian economy pumped out 67,000 news jobs in January — smashing economists’ forecasts calling for 5,000 new positions.

Gains were split between 30,000 thousand full-time and 36,000 part-time positions. Most of the jobs went to youth aged 15 to 24 in services-producing industries.

The unemployment rate ticked up by 0.2 percentage points as more people looked for work.

“Overall, it’s been a good day for readings on the Canadian economy,” says Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC, in a research note.

“That said, first quarter growth is still setting up to be somewhat weak given what we know is happening in the oil patch.”

Ontario was the source of 41,000 of those new jobs. Quebec accounted for 16,000. Saskatchewan and Alberta lost jobs in January, which could a bigger consideration for the Bank of Canada than the national picture.

“So while today’s data will be bullish for the Canadian dollar and bearish for fixed income, the Bank of Canada is still likely on the sidelines for the first half of 2019,” says Mendes.

Capital Economics also thinks the surprising job gains won’t change the Bank of Canada’s mind.

“With annual earnings growth unchanged at 2 per cent, there are still no signs of rising inflationary pressures from the labour market,” says Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist, Capital Economics, in a research note.

The Canadian dollar jumped more than a quarter of a cent in the moments after Statistics Canada announced the jobs numbers.

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