Employers cut a net 129,000 workers after a drop of 20,400 in December, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. It was the largest monthly job loss since the methodology of the employment survey was last changed in 1976.
Today's job losses may undermine the Bank of Canada's contention that the economy will recover more quickly than in previous recessions as credit markets and exports rebound. The economy will contract 1.2 percent this year and then grow 3.8 percent in 2010, the central bank predicts.
Canada is in its first recession since 1992 as the country suffers from plunging U.S. demand, tighter credit conditions and a drop in commodity prices. The Bank of Canada predicts the economy will shrink at a 4.8 percent annualized pace in the first quarter.
Employers shed 113,900 full-time positions in January, most of them in manufacturing, which lost 101,000 jobs. The health care and social assistance industries led gainers, with an increase of 30,800 jobs.
Canadian wage growth in December advanced at a pace of 4.8 percent, faster than 4.3 percent in December.
December's job loss had originally been reported as 34,400 jobs, but was later revised to 20,400.