The country saw a surprise rush of 66,800 net new jobs in January in a gain fuelled by a hiring surge in the private sector, Statistics Canada said Friday.
The sector covering food services and accomodations saw the biggest gains from December to January, with 600 jobs added.
Kelowna boasts the province's lowest unemployment rate, dipping two ticks last month to 3.1 per cent.
In the Calgary census metropolitan area, the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 per cent from 7.5 per cent the previous month.
The average year-over-year wage growth of permanent employees - a figure closely watched by the central bank - was 1.8 percent in January, up slightly from 1.5 percent in December. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.
Locally, the number of people listed as employed has gone up from about 20,600 last year to an estimated 21,600 this year.
In a note to clients Friday, CIBC Chief Economist Royce Mendes wrote the latest job readings were "a auto stuck on one of Canada's clogged highways: speeding up then slowing down just to speed back up again".
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"The unemployment rate did rise, but only because of an increase in the participation rate", he said.
"Overall, it's been a good day for readings on the Canadian economy".
The Bank of Canada has been monitoring wage growth ahead of its interest-rate decisions as it tries to determine how well indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs.
In Calgary, the unemployment rate was at 7.3% last month, while in Edmonton, it was at 6.4%.
She said the struggles of energy-producing provinces, which began with the late-2014 oil slump, have been a big factor that has dragged down national wage-growth numbers.
Canada added 30,900 full-time jobs last month and 36,000 part-time positions, the report said. The trend of more people entering the workforce and either working or looking for a job also continued, with the labour force increasing from 22,500 to 23,700.
"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote.