Statistics Canada says economy added 34,500 jobs in January, unemployment down

statistics canada

Statistics Canada says the economy added 34,500 jobs in January as the unemployment rate ticked down a tenth of a percentage point to 5.5 per cent.

Economists on average had expected an increase of 15,000 jobs for January, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The gain in jobs for the month came as the number of full-time jobs rose by 35,700, while part-time employment fell by 1,200.

The manufacturing, construction and agriculture sectors saw gains, while employment fell in health care and social assistance.

The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate target on hold last month but left the door open to future rate cuts if weakness seen in the economy at the end of last year is more persistent than expected.

Governor Stephen Poloz has said the central bank will be paying particular attention to developments in consumer spending, the housing market and business investment.

In New Brunswick the unemployment rate for January held steady at 7.5%.

The provincial labour force grew by 5,100 jobs and added 1,800 net new full-time and 2,800 net new part-time jobs.

(With files from Bell Media's Charles M. Renshaw)