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For Ontario, some experts raised the possibility of a link between the provincial drop and the introduction last month of a controversial minimum-wage hike.

The agency says jobs fell by 88,000 in Canada last month contributing to a 5.9 per cent unemployment rate, an increase of one basis point from December.

As for part-time employment, Saskatchewan had about 5,000 fewer jobs.

Despite Canada's healthy economic performance previous year, Alexander said the surprising pace of job creation had been stronger than the other data. Shenfeld also commented that while the job losses took away from the job gains made past year, " the details also looking wonky, with all of the job losses in part-time work".

In the wake of the release of the January jobs report, the Canadian dollar traded lower, dipping by 0.07 of a cent at 79.23 cents USA, as economists suggested the employment loss might remove some pressure for the Bank of Canada to boost interest rates.

The region saw its unemployment rate at 3.8 per cent for the month, a dramatic rebound from one year ago when unemployment sat at 10.5 per cent at the start of 2017.

The decrease was driven by the loss of 137,000 part-time positions, including more than 59,000 in Ontario. Overall, compared with January 2017, employment in the province grew by 104,000.

The weak employment report for last month was worse than economists had been expecting. The unemployment rate remains at 5.5 percent. The province said the gain was led by jobs in the transportation and warehousing industries. While there were job losses in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Manitoba, Alberta saw very little in the way of job losses as part-time workers were replaced with full-time workers. He said the losses reported Friday brought the monthly jobs average more in line with the other economic numbers. He said it reinforces the view that the Bank of Canada will proceed "ultra-cautiously" through the rest of 2018.