Northeast BC unemployment drops more than half to 4.6% in 2017

Northeast BC unemployment drops more than half to 4.6% in 2017

Canada's unemployment rate plunged to the lowest in more than 40 years as the economy continues to add jobs at record levels. The economy added 422,500 jobs past year with the gains driven by 394,200 new full-time positions.

Only about 75 per cent of London-area residents between the ages of 25 and 54 - prime working years - have full- or part-time jobs, ranking this area dead last among 15 major Ontario cities. The unemployment rate was 8.9 per cent in December 2016. That is up slightly from November's 5.0 per cent. Its benchmark interest rate sits at 1 percent.

"It looks like as much as Canadian economic growth has softened a little bit over the second half of the year, the labour market is just still rolling right on", said BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic.

"This is pretty obviously one vote in favour of the bank certainly moving in March, if not bringing that forward to raising rates in January". "We're going to wait to see what the Business Outlook Survey says", he added in an interview. Economist Robert Kavcic said in a research note the Bank of Canada may move this month if a survey of executives the central bank publishes on Monday also shows strength. The work force last December included 2.32 million workers compared with 2.27 in December 2016.

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The unemployment rate dropped in Regina by 0.1 percentage to 4.7 per cent while the rate held steady in Saskatoon at 7.6 per cent. Job gains were observed among self-employed workers and public sector employees.

Saskatchewan had its first noticeable employment increase in 10 months as almost 5,000 jobs were added to the economy in December.

In separate data, Canada's trade deficit in November widened to C$2.54 billion as both exports and imports benefited from increased activity in the automotive industry.

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