Statistics Canada's latest jobs survey said the net decline helped push the national unemployment rate up to 5.9 per cent in January, from a revised 5.8 per cent the previous month.
"Ontario lost 40 per cent of the part-time jobs in Canada".
Some economists said it's possible Ontario's minimum wage increase played a role in those declines, but noted it's important not to read too much into one month of data.
After two months of strong job growth in Canada, Statistics Canada reported that employment fell by 88,000 in January taking a turn for the worse. The drop reflected a record loss of 137,000 part-time jobs, and a 49,000 gain in full-time work. Halifax had an unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent in January, down from seven per cent in December. Some businesses have said they would have to lay off employees and increase prices to offset higher labour costs. In January 2017, there were 21,000 people employed in the city, up from the current 20,600. That compares with December's figures of a 56,200-person labour force, with 48,500 people working and 7,700 looking for work.
Economists look at the number of jobs in a community rather than the unemployment in determining an area's economic health.
Nationally, 2018 got off to a bad start as the Canadian economy lost 88,000 jobs and the jobless rate rose from 5.8 per cent to 5.9 per cent.
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Also, because the labour-force survey relies on Canadians to report their income and employment status, it is not as reliable as the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, which uses payroll-tax data and is released about six-to-eight weeks after the end of the month.
Canada's economy has still seen employment increase by 288,700 jobs over the past 12 months - 146,000 of which came in November and December.
"Kathleen Wynne was warned by experts that her overnight minimum wage hike would put our most vulnerable people out of work", Ontario PC economic development critic Monte McNaughton said in a statement. The growth represents an increase of 2.8 per cent.
Average hourly wages jumped 3.3 percent from last January, the strongest since March 2016.
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.