Canada smashes expectations with 150,000 jobs gain, jobless rate stays 5% in Jan

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OTTAWA, Feb 10 (Reuters) – The Canadian economy gained a net 150,000 jobs in January, smashing expectations, while the jobless rate held steady at 5.0%, Statistics Canada (Statscan) data showed on Friday.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a net gain of 15,000 jobs and for the unemployment rate to edge up to 5.1% in January from 5.0% in December.

Statscan revised December’s net gains downward to 69,200 jobs.

January’s job additions, the fifth consecutive monthly gain, were driven primarily by the core-aged group of 25 to 54 year-olds and were spread across several industries, Statscan said.

Employment in the goods sector increased by a net 25,400 jobs led by construction.

Service sector jobs jumped by a net 124,700, mostly in wholesale and retail trade and the healthcare and social assistance subsectors.

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