Canada shed 18,900 full-time jobs and added 46,400 less desirable self-employed positions.
Unemployment for the region of Prince Albert and Northern Saskatchewan rose.6 per cent from 6.4, sitting.2 per cent higher than one year ago. The growth follows a net uptick of 94,000 jobs in November, which was Canada's largest monthly increase since March 2012.
However, wage growth showed a weak reading of 1.49 percent last month, which was well below inflation.
Economists say employment growth across Canada in 2018 was mostly concentrated in the services sectors, which generated 151-thousand positions compared with an increase of just over 12-thousand jobs in goods-producing industries.
Even with the increase in the unemployment rate, the number of people working in the region increased to 40,300.
In the Edmonton census metropolitan area, the unemployment rate rose from 6.2 per cent in November to 6.3 per cent in December.
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The rate did not change in Ontario either; remaining the same as in November, 5.4 per cent. Ontario added 78,000 net positions in 2018.
According to a Statistics Canada report, the country closed out the year with a gain of 9,300 net new jobs, which kept the national unemployment rate at 5.6 per cent.
The Bank of Canada has been watching wage growth ahead of its rate decisions as it tries to determine how well-indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs.
The central bank, which will make a rate announcement next Wednesday, has raised its benchmark rate five times since the summer of 2017 in response to Canada's strong economic performance. Health care and social assistance also saw an increase with the addition of 300 jobs.
With files from The Canadian Press.