Employment held steady over December with increases in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, as well as in health care plus social assistance.
While 18,300 part-time jobs evaporated last month, data released Friday, Jan, 4 from Statistics Canada reveals the province added 22,700 full-time positions to make up for losses. The provincial unemployment rate fell from seven per cent at the start of 2018 to 6.4 per cent at the end of the year. Employment as a whole in 2018 rose by 163,300 position, or just 0.9 percent, the lowest yearly increase since the 0.9 percent seen in 2015. Employment continued to grow in 2018, up 22,000 (plus 0.9 per cent).
In Ontario alone, employment increases by 1.1 per cent. Statistics Canada says that increase is all in full-time work.
In the jobs report Friday, the overall employment gain of 9,300 for December was deemed too low by Statistics Canada to be statistically significant.
"Among the core-working-age population (aged 25 to 54), employment in 2018 increased more notably for women (plus 126,000 or plus 2.2 per cent) than for men (plus 61,000 or plus 1.0 per cent)".
Even though there more jobs were created, wage growth was weak. This follows a net gain of 5,500 positions in November, which knocked the unemployment rate down by 0.7 points.
Private sector employees also increased by 101,000 in 2018 and self-employment rose, while public sector employment saw little change.
He noted a belief there was nothing in the report to prompt any near-term response from the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates. The central bank has pushed its benchmark rate north five times since the summer of 2017, with its next announcement set for Wednesday.
Porter added that he doesn't believe anything in the new jobs data will sway the Bank of Canada in terms of a rate decision.
With files from The Canadian Press.