After a seven-month winning streak, Hamilton's unemployment rate rose to 6.1 per cent in March. It was the first time since July that Hamilton's unemployment rate did not fall.

Statistics Canada released the numbers for the national employment rate Friday, showing that unemployment in March rose almost across the board in Canada. The national economy lost a total of 54,500 jobs in March, which was significantly more than economists had been expecting.

The March numbers represent a disappointing end to Hamilton's seven consecutive months of falling unemployment. In February, Hamilton's jobless rate stood at 5.7 per cent, the lowest in the province and the eighth lowest in the country for that month.

Until now, Hamilton had seen a steady monthly decline since July of last year. The biggest single drop happened in September 2012, when the unemployment rate fell from 7.3 per cent to 6.8 per cent.

Although it is higher than it was last month, the jobless rate in Hamilton still falls below other major Ontario cities. Toronto's unemployment rate is 8.4 per cent, Brantford's is 7.7 per cent, St. Catharines and Niagara sits at 7.9 per cent, and the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo region is at 7.2 per cent. Ottawa's unemployment rate matches Hamilton's at 6.1 per cent.