Canada Jobs on the March

It's cheerful news for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his minority government; at least one area of the economy is on a solid footing.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the economy added 34,500 jobs in January, more than twice the number markets were expecting, and the unemployment rate dipped to a near record low 5.5%.

Analysts had forecast a gain of 15,000 positions and for the jobless rate to stay put at 5.6%.

All the more remarkable, StatsCan adds, is that all the gains were in full-time jobs. The goods-producing sector added 49,100 positions — almost half of them in manufacturing — while the service sector shed 14,500.

The hourly wages for permanent employees — which the Bank of Canada watches closely — rose by 4.4% ompared with January 2019 and were up from 3.8% in December.