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

06 January, 2018, 02:57 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Northeast BC unemployment drops more than half to 4.6% in 2017

The unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 per cent in December - the lowest mark since comparable data became available in 1976.

Last year, the Bank of Canada hiked the overnight rate twice, bringing it up 50 basis points from its historically low 0.5 per cent.

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

Acr0ss all industries, 55,000 more Albertans were pulling a pay cheque last month compared with a year ago.

"Another ridiculously strong employment report that is marked by over 150,000 new jobs in two months gives the (Bank of Canada) full reason to look through a transitory soft patch in the economy", Derek Holt, vice-president of Scotiabank Economics, wrote in a note to investors.

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"The gains in 2017 were nearly all in full-time work, and were mainly in health care and social assistance; construction; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing", Stats Canada noted in its survey.

Expectations that Canada's central bank will boost interest rates later this month for the third time since July surged on Friday as the government reported jobs data significantly above analysts' expectations. The unemployment rate was 8.9 per cent in December 2016. For homeowners with fixed-rate mortgages, a hike won't change much (at least until their mortgage comes up for renewal.) But for those with variable-rate mortgages - which move up and down with interest rates - payments will go up.

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China's manufacturing sector continued to expand in December, pointing to economic resilience in the country's factory sector. China's slowdown means that for the rest of Asia, the pace of rate increases is unlikely to match that of the U.S.

The central bank has long fretted about the export sector, which did well in November as shipments of goods rose by 3.7 percent, the most in a year.

"We know the Bank of Canada is back into a rate-hike mode and they are pretty well data-dependent right now in terms of when and how quickly that pace of rate hikes is going to play out".

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Employment continued to grow across the country last month, plunging the national unemployment rate to the lowest number in 40 years. Job gains in the natural resource sector, up 4.6 per cent, followed "heavy losses" in 2015 and 2016, Stats Canada said.

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