In the Labour Force Survey for January 2018, Statistics Canada said the Canadian economy saw 88,000 jobs lost during the month, an abrupt halt to the "stellar performance" that saw 2017 produce the biggest increase in jobs since 2002.
In Saskatchewan, the unemployment rate fell 1.1 per cent to 5.4 over the revised 6.5 per cent number from December. A strong labour market, like the one Canada has seen in recent months, generally invites more people to rejoin the labour force and apply for jobs.
Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey provides estimates of employment and unemployment, based on a sampling of households in the communities.
Numbers were less rosy nationally.
It's the largest unemployment decline in a single month since 2009.
Ontario, which increased its minimum wage in January, was the biggest loser in January, shedding 50,900 jobs in the month.
The agency provided data showing the province gained approximately 8,500 full-time positions but lost roughly 59,300 part-time ones, noting that the figures are rounded.
"This is a big number on the surface, but so were the gains over the previous several months", Marple wrote in a research note.More news: Deadly battle with Syrian regime forces complicates Trump's Syria strategy
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Sudbury's poor job performance in recent months is likely related to some extent on the fact Vale closed Coleman Mine in November to fix a ventilation compartment.
Economists said January's hefty drop was to be expected after such a strong year and was unlikely to change the Bank of Canada's trajectory of more interest rate hikes to come in 2018. While part-time employment dropped by 137,000, full-time employment was up by 49,000 jobs.
Over that same period, the number of less desirable part-time positions declined by 125,400 or 3.5 per cent. Most of the other provinces also shouldered part-time losses, with Quebec shedding 31,000 positions.
"Now part of that might be reflecting the increase in minimum wages in Ontario because that increase in minimum wage is impacting more than 20 per cent of all the workers in Ontario".
It wasn't just Ontario that saw wage growth of more than 3 per cent. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia recorded increases over that level, with the westernmost province's wages rising almost 4 per cent.
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.
With files from Canadian Press.