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February 8, 2013 9:30 PM PST

Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday called the loss of nearly 22,000 jobs in January "disappointing" but said he was upbeat about the prospects for employment despite the uncertain global economic outlook.

"The job numbers of the past month are disappointing but the job numbers are quite volatile month to month," he said at a news conference.

"The fact of the matter is that the pattern over the last several months has actually been quite positive ... So the trend line has been positive and I remain optimistic that the trendline will continue to be positive going forward," he said.

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