Canada's economy added 48,000 jobs in January
Economists had been expecting job losses, but growth exceeds expectations 2 straight months
Canada's unemployment rate dipped to 6.8 per cent last month as the economy added 48,000 jobs, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
The numbers blew past economists' expectations of a loss of 10,000 jobs after a strong showing the previous month, too.
Instead, the economy has added nearly 100,000 jobs since the end of November and averaged more than 40,000 new jobs a month since August — the strongest six-month period in more than 15 years.
"The consensus keeps looking for a pullback in employment after its strong run," Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter said after the data was released. "The fact that the strong run just keeps going is quite telling."
Most of the new jobs were part time, although there were also more than 15,000 new full-time jobs created. Almost all of the new jobs were in the service sector, the data agency said.
Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador all added jobs, while New Brunswick lost some. All other provinces were largely unchanged.
The loonie reacted strongly to the news, jumping a third of a cent to 76.42 after being flat before the numbers were released.
"Overall, this is a healthy report, and simply reinforces the message that the job market has turned the corner, a clear indication that the broader economy has also turned the corner after a challenging couple of years," Porter said.
More to come