The unemployment rate for all of Canada last month was listed at 5.8%, up from the 43-year low of 5.6% in December 2018.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a gain of 8,000 positions in January and an increase in the jobless rate to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent in December.
(StatsCan warns with unadjusted data, one can not make month-to-month comparisons since different seasonal factors influence each month).
So despite the data being "bullish for the Canadian dollar", he said, the Bank of Canada is likely to wait until the second half of 2019 before raising its key lending rate - after several hikes in the past 18 months from a near-record low.
"On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees rose by 293,000 (+2.5 per cent), while the number of public sector employees grew by 62,000 (+1.7 per cent)".
Sherry Cooper, chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres, wrote in a research note to clients Friday called the increase in the number of people looking for work a sign of strength, even though it has nudged up the unemployment rate. Due to this, the country nearly needs big monthly job numbers just to keep the unemployment rate steady, Porter added.
Halyk said the Workforce Planning Board's new labour market report was titled Help Wanted: Building the Talent Pool because so many employers are struggling to find workers.More news: Gale force winds sweep country as Storm Erik brings disruption
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"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.
Capital Economics also thinks the surprising job gains won't change the Bank of Canada's mind.
The region also lost 700 full-time jobs and gained 400 part-time jobs month-over-month.
The unemployment rate ticked up by 0.2 percentage points as more people looked for work.
By region, Ontario and Quebec had the biggest employment increases last month.