OTTAWA (AP) _ Last month's devastating ice storm in Eastern Canada took its toll on employment figures, sending the jobless rate up to 8.9 percent from 8.6 percent in December, the government said Friday.

Statistics Canada said the number of jobs in the economy last month was unchanged, but unemployment rolls grew by 54,000 because of temporary layoffs in areas hard hit by ice conditions.

Employment in Quebec, the worst-hit province, fell by 46,000 jobs in January. As a result, unemployment rose by 30,000 people and the provincial unemployment rate rose from 10.4 percent to 11.3 percent.

The majority of job losses occurred around Montreal.

In Ontario, where the storm was concentrated in the eastern part of the province, employment grew strongly, rising by 39,000 jobs in January.