UPDATE 1-Canada loses 212,800 jobs in January, unemployment rate rises to 9.4%
Updates throughout, adds analyst comment, CAD reax
OTTAWA, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Canada lost far more jobs than expected in January, with the declines driven by service sector positions in populous Ontario and Quebec, while the unemployment rate rose sharply to 9.4%, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.
Canada lost 212,800 jobs in January, the largest monthly decline since April 2020, missing analyst estimates of a loss of 47,500 jobs. The unemployment rate also missed expectations of 8.9%. Employment fell to 4.5% below pre-pandemic levels.
"It's definitely a disappointment," said Derek Holt, vice president of Capital Market Economics at Scotiabank. "We're going through a soft patch and better days are ahead. So I would view it as a transitory loss."
The Canadian dollar CAD= was trading up 0.2% at 1.2800 to the greenback, or 78.13 U.S. cents, as oil prices rose to a one-year high.
Jobs in the service sector, which has been hard hit by COVID-19 restrictions, fell by 236,200, driven by retail losses, while employment in the goods sector rose by 23,400.
Full-time employment was up by 12,600 while part-time employment fell by 225,400 positions.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon and David Ljunggren in Ottawa
Additional reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto
Editing by Jason Neely and Frances Kerry)