(Reuters) — Canada added 35,400 jobs in January, far more than forecast, though the gains came on the back of more part-time positions, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
The increase brought the unemployment rate down to 6.6 per cent from December's 6.7 per cent. Economists had forecast just 4,500 jobs would be added in January, following two months of hefty declines.
But the details of the report were less strong, with employers cutting 11,800 full-time jobs. That was offset by an increase of 47,200 part-time positions.
The recent downturn in the price of oil also appeared to be making itself felt, with the natural resources sector shedding 8,800 jobs last month. Overall, the goods-producing sector added 9,700 jobs, while jobs in the services-producing sector increased by 25,700.
The labour participation rate, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, held steady at 65.7 per cent, the lowest level since 2000