Alberta also saw jobs fall for the second straight month, with 16,000 job losses in January.
Overall, the country added 66,800 jobs last month. Stephen from 7.1 to 6.5, Fredericton-Oromocto from 7.9 to 7.7 and Edmundston-Woodstock from 7.4 to 7.3.
"It might catch your eye that you have this massive print in youth employment, but the actual story is that youth employment over the previous year is just flat; it was reversing some of the losses we've seen recently", said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC World Markets. The number of part- and full-time positions declined by 400 and 2,400, respectively.
Employment rose in six provinces, led by Ontario and Quebec, while it fell in Alberta and Saskatchewan. One year ago, the region's unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent.
"In January, the number of employees increased by 112,000 in the private sector, while it was little changed in the public sector for the third consecutive month".
Friday's Statistics Canada numbers also showed that employees worked 1.2 per cent more hours, year-over-year, compared to the 0.9 per cent reading in December.
In a note to clients Friday, CIBC Chief Economist Royce Mendes wrote the latest job readings were "a vehicle stuck on one of Canada's clogged highways: speeding up then slowing down just to speed back up again". Canada's employment rate, participation rate and unemployment rate were all higher than that of the United States, adjusting for US-based employment concepts.
The economy shed 32,300 goods sector positions, mostly in agriculture and construction.
More young Canadians, between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, also found work last month as youth employment gained 52,800 positions.
Year-over-year, the unemployment rate is up from January 2018 when it sat at 3.8%, and when 37,700 people were reported to be employed in a labour force of 39,200. For last month, the rate was at 7.8%, an increase of 0.8% from December. "So while today's data will be bullish for the Canadian dollar and bearish for fixed income, the Bank of Canada is still likely on the sidelines for the first half of 2019".