Statistics Canada says Canada’s economy lost 21,900 jobs last month but the official unemployment rate fell slightly as many people stopped looking for work.
The agency says 57,500 Canadians left the labour market last month, pushing down the unemployment rate by one-tenth of a point to 7.0 per cent.
January’s numbers were even weaker than expected, following two outstanding months of employment gains that saw 100,000 jobs created.
Still, the agency notes that there were 286,000 more Canadians working last month than a year earlier, with the increase all in full-time employment.
Almost all the jobs lost in January were in educational services and manufacturing, the agency says.
Ontario and British Columbia were responsible for almost all the reversals, losing 31,200 and 15,900 jobs respectively.