Good news on the jobs front in Prince George.
The latest labour force estimates were released by Statistics Canada Friday, and they paint a rosy picture with more people working in January 2019 than at this time past year.
The seasonally unadjusted rate has gone from 8.4 per cent in January 2018 to 8.9 per cent in January 2019.
(StatsCan warns with unadjusted data, one can not make month-to-month comparisons since different seasonal factors influence each month).
Provincially, Alberta lost jobs for the second straight month, pushing its unemployment rate up to 6.8 per cent. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics. In January 2018, the jobless rate for the region was listed at 6.6%.
Overall, employment gains were driven entirely by private sector employees while the number of self-employed decreased.
In Brantford, Statistics Canada estimates that 1,600 job seekers found work in January.
It's better, he said, to look at the three-month and six-month trends, although he also described those results as solid in recent months.
Last week, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said the country has been in a "puzzling" stretch of weak wage growth at a time when the job market has been experiencing one of its biggest labour shortages in years. The Bank of Canada has expressed confidence that wage growth will pick up its pace. The central bank stayed on the sidelines last month after five hikes since July 2017, and most analysts expect no action.
The Canadian dollar jumped more than a quarter of a cent in the moments after Statistics Canada announced the jobs numbers.
The participation rate - the percentage of working age people employed or actively looking for work - in the Montreal region was 66.6 per cent in January, down from 66.8 per cent the month before and from 67.9 in January 2018.
"Wages continued to rise in January, with B.C. among the top provinces for year-over-year growth".