Stats Can released last month's employment numbers today and 55,000 Canadians re-entered the workforce last month, though much of that growth was from more part-time work opportunities.
Overall, Canada added 79,000 jobs in December and 423,000 jobs for the year, ending 2017 with unemployment at 5.5 per cent.
"In our judgement, that should be enough to see the Bank of Canada hike rates later this month, with the employment figures more than enough to offset recent disappointments on GDP".
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Finance Minister Bill Morneau, whose new year's resolutions likely include efforts to change the channel following a tumultuous political year he'd probably prefer to forget, also made a point of highlighting the jobs data.
The Red Deer area unemployment rate in December 2016 was 8.0 per cent.
TORONTO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a three-month high against its US counterpart on Friday after stronger-than-expected domestic jobs data boosted expectations for a Bank of Canada interest rate hike this month.
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Official Canadian government employment statistics showed the number of unemployed fell sharply in December to 5.7% from 5.9% previously - market analysts had mostly been expecting a rise to 6.0% or more instead. Its benchmark interest rate sits at 1 percent.
"This is pretty obviously one vote in favour of the bank certainly moving in March, if not bringing that forward to raising rates in January".
The U.S. dollar pared gains against a basket of major currencies on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy created fewer jobs than expected in December. The two-year fell 3 cents to yield 1.70 per cent and the 10-year declined 26 cents to yield 2.083 per cent.
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The Environment Agency warned earlier that strong winds and high tides could bring coastal flooding from Tuesday until Thursday. At 6pm on Tuesday, Met Eireann warned of increasingly strong winds and gusts that are battering the country. .
In a separate report Friday, Statistics Canada says the country's merchandise trade deficit widened to $2.5 billion in November, compared to a $1.6-billion deficit the month before, as imports outgrew exports.