Canada: Job Losses Worst on Record
OTTAWA - The recession hit home last month, as a massive 129,000 workers joined the unemployed, more than half of those in Ontario. The province's unemplyment rate rose to 8%, up from 7.2% in December.
Across the country, it was the worst monthly employment drop in at least three decades, topping figures seen in either of the two previous recessions in the 1980s and 1990s. Almost all the jobs were full-time and were mostly in a battered manufacturing sector that has been most affected by the severe downturn in the United States.
The carnage was everywhere. Ontario shed 71,000 jobs, half in the manufacturing sector. British Columbia and Quebec workers were also hit hard with losses of 35,000 and 26,000 respectively.
Statistics Canada officials were scrambling to describe the number of firsts – all bad – that January's labour survey created.
It was the largest employment decrease since the agency began keeping what it described as comparable figures in 1976. And the manufacturing loss was the worst single month contraction on record.
Job losses were also recorded in the following industries: furniture, computer and electronic, non-metallic mineral product, electrical equipment, appliance and components, clothing manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, business, building and other support services.
Unemployment numbers for major cities. (Previous month in brackets.
— St. John’s 7.1 (7.2)
— Halifax 5.6 (5.3
— Montreal 7.8 (7.5
— Ottawa 4.5 (4.6)
— Toronto 7.8 (7.3)
— Windsor10.9 (10.1)
— Winnipeg 4.5 (4.5)
— Calgary 4.1 (3.9)
— Vancouver 5.1 (4.8)
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