The economy continues to surprise to the upside, gaining +78,600 jobs in December after +79,500 in November. Expectations had been for 0. For all of 2017, the economy created +423,000 jobs, the most in 15 years and the most of any year during the recovery – the next closest was +312,000 in 2012. The growth rate in jobs is actually accelerating even in this tight market, rising to +2.3% y/y from +2.1% last month, the fastest in over 10 years. The unemployment rate was widely expected to be 6.0% after last month’s 5.9%, but instead it dropped to a record low of 5.7%. Jobs rose in every province for only the sixth time in 42 years. Full time wages are now growing +2.9% y/y vs. a recent low of +0.5% in April 2017. It had been anticipated that the Bank of Canada would raise interest rates later in Q1, but it now appears possible that the increase may come next week instead.