Stats Canada reports January unemployment rise in Victoria, Nanaimo and Canada

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The unemployment rate in Kitchener-Waterloo fell to 5.1 per cent, but only because of 2,600 drop in the local labour force.

That's 46,100 fewer people in part-time posts in January 2018 than the same time the previous year - a 3.4 per cent drop.

BMO chief economist Douglas Porter noted it was the first setback for jobs in Canada's job market in 16 months and Ontario was especially hard hit.

"The data itself, when you look in the weeds, does not suggest that the minimum-wage hike in Ontario is the cause of the weakness", said Frances Donald, senior economist with Manulife Asset Management.

But all the losses last month were in part-time job which decreased by 137,000 while full-time jobs rose by 49,000.

Adjusted to USA concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 4.9 per cent in January, compared with 4.1 per cent in the United States.

The number of jobs in Canada fell by 88,000 in January to give the labour market its steepest one-month drop in nine years, Statistics Canada said Friday. The jobs report can also be volatile month-to-month.

"Given that it was concentrated in Ontario I think it's fair to say there's some kind of impact there".

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The hike was driven by an increase to the labour force and the number of people claiming unemployment.

It triggered a backlash among much of the business community, which is dealing with rising interest rates, stricter mortgage rules and uncertain trade relations with the United States and Mexico.

Wage growth also received a boost in January, a month that saw Ontario lift its minimum wage.

The higher minimum rate could have underpinned Canada's stronger wage growth. Thomas unemployment rate ends 2017 at 6.2% . The Northeast had the lowest unemployment in B.C. last month.

The monthly employment figures for specific regions of Canada, like Cape Breton, are determined by a three-month moving average of unemployment rates unadjusted for seasonality, while national, provincial and major city numbers reflect monthly numbers which are seasonally adjusted.

Yet, in most cases, the data suggest the greater proportion of employees with hourly wages at or below C$14 in December, the greater the declines in January.

Others didn't expect the January report, on its own, to have a significant impact on the outcome of the Bank of Canada's next rate announcement.