Windsor's unemployment rate sees significant drop

Randall Padilla
February 10, 2018

Statistics Canada says the jobless rate in Windsor last month was 4.6%, down from 6% in December, and 5.4% in January 2017.

Provincial summary The drop in the number of people employed also coincided with an increase in the minimum wage in Canada's largest province, Ontario.

It's the second straight month of job losses in the Greater Sudbury area.

"The Canadian economy experienced a very large setback in January, but it also needs to be kept in perspective - we had outstandingly strong job growth over the course of previous year", Craig Alexander, chief economist for the Conference Board of Canada, said in an interview.

The employment drop coincided with an increase in the minimum wage in Canada's largest province - Ontario.

The unemployment rate in Cape Breton increased by 0.6 per cent from December where it stood at 13.7 per cent.

It wasn't just Ontario that saw wage growth of more than 3 per cent. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia recorded increases over that level, with the westernmost province's wages rising almost 4 per cent.

Windsor's job market saw improvements in January from a year ago on two fronts, the unemployment rate and the labour participation rate.

Employment declines were seen across the field, from low-paying jobs in warehousing, retail and wholesale to lucrative areas of professional, scientific and technical services. The loss reflects a record loss of 137,000 part-time jobs and a gain of 49,000 full-time jobs. The current stock market rout, for instance, began last Friday after data showed wages there growing more than anticipated, raising worries that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates more quickly than expected.

Ontario's mandatory minimum hourly rate is set for another bump in January 2019, when it will rise to $15. It was the biggest one-month collapse in part-time work since the agency started gathering the data in 1976.

"It doesn't change the broader narrative around the Bank of Canada".

Even with the overall decline in January, Canada has been on a strong run of job creation that has seen the country add 414,100 full-time jobs over a 12-month period. "At the very least, we can dismiss any chance the Bank hikes [interest rates] in March, and April is now looking more like a long shot as well".

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