Ottawa - Employment bounced back in the first month of 2014, as the Canadian economy added more than 29,000 jobs, according to research from Statistics Canada. Despite the healthy gain, it was not enough to offset the job losses suffered in December 2013, but it does prove once again the volatility of the Labour Force Survey on a month-to-month basis.
An encouraging sign in the January data is the significant bump in full-time positions, which were up nearly 51,000. The full-time segment, which had a rough 2013, is a key indicator of future job prospects for businesses and consumers. On the negative side, almost all the gains last month were in the self-employed category.
The job growth was spread out across most of the provinces. Only Atlantic Canada did poorly, with three of the four provinces (P.E.I. being the exception) seeing losses. As well, the national unemployment rate dropped to 7%—a result of a combination of job gains and a shrinking of the labour force due to fewer people (mainly in Ontario) looking for work.
At the industry level, public administration continued to shed jobs, as it has done for the last 12 months. However, transportation and warehousing rose, which bodes well for exports in 2014.
Slow and positive growth continues to be the story when it comes to real GDP, which was up 0.2% in November. Although the level of growth is not headline news, the trend is a promising sign of what we can expect this year as the economy looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2013.