Niagara's unemployment rate up slightly in December

The national labour market saw big gains in 2016, but unlike recent years the net job growth was propelled by a surge in the less-desirable category of part-time work.

Statistics Canada says the economy added 53,700 jobs in December but unemployment rate rose to 6.9% from 6.8%

In St. Catharines-Niagara, the unemployment rate was up slightly again in December, sitting at 6.4% compared to 6.3% in November.

The year-end employment review shows the country added 153 700 net new part-time jobs last year and just 60 400 full-time positions, a number so low it was statistically
insignificant.

The 2016 national figure represents a stark shift from year-end results in the past two years, when the agency reported gains of 156 000 full-time jobs in 2014 and 147 000 in 2015.

The final number for 2016 would have shown a loss in full-time work had it not been for a December gain of 81 300 new positions in the category, the biggest one-month increase in full-time jobs in almost five years.