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London-St. Thomas jobless rate rises to 5.2% to start 2019

The Statistics Canada offices at Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
The Statistics Canada offices at Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The New Year saw an increase in jobs in London, but also an increase in the unemployment rate.

Statistics Canada reports the London-St. Thomas jobless rate rose to 5.2 per cent in January, up from 5 per cent the month before. It’s the second increase in as many months for the unemployment rate.

The last time London’s jobless rate was at this level was last September.

1,500 jobs were added in January, however, that was offset by increases to both the labour force and the number of people claiming unemployment.

READ MORE: Canada adds 67K new jobs in January, but unemployment rate rises to 5.8%

The participation rate rose slightly to 60.4 per cent, however, London’s participation rate continues to be the worst in the province and among the worst in the country.

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Nationally, Canada saw a rush of 66,800 net new jobs in January in a gain fueled by a surge in the private sector.

Statistics Canada’s labour force survey says more people also searched for work last month, which pushed the unemployment rate to 5.8 per cent, up from its 43-year low 5.6 per cent in December.

The number of private-sector employee positions climbed by 111,500 in January for the category’s biggest month-to-month increase since the agency started collecting the data point in 1976.

READ MORE: London-St. Thomas jobless rate rises to 5% to end 2018

The report says the services sector saw a gain of 99,200 positions, led by new work in wholesale and retail trade, while the goods-producing industries experienced a net loss of 32,300 jobs.

By region, Ontario and Quebec had the biggest job gains, while Alberta shed jobs for a second-straight month and saw its jobless rate rise to 6.8 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent.

In Ontario, the number of people employed rose by 41,000 in January, the result of an increase in full-time work. At the same time, more people looked for work, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.3 percentage points to 5.7 per cent.

With files from the Canadian Press

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