Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Western Alberta unemployment rate drops to 4.8 per cent

Woman looking through a filing cabinet. GETTY IMAGES  Raphye Alexius Woman looking through a filing cabinet. GETTY IMAGES Raphye Alexius
Nellie Chapman | 11 February, 2019, 03:09

In December of previous year, the unemployment rate was listed at 4.5%.

"We're working hard to nurture a sustainable economy that works for people".

Across the province, the unemployment rate was down slightly from 5.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent - the second-lowest rate in the country, after British Columbia, where the unemployment rate was 4.7 per cent. Canada's largest province added 41,000 jobs and saw 31,000 more people join the labour force.

The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, increased 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 per cent. The employment rate, however, has also risen, growing from 60.4 per cent to 63.2 per cent. There were 200 fewer jobs in January but from a year ago employment in the region was higher by 33,800 positions.

Statistics Canada tracks the unemployment rate of metropolitan areas on a three-month moving average.

Most of the jobs were in the private sector, which recorded the biggest month-to-month increase since the agency started collecting the data point in 1976.

"On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees rose by 293,000 (+2.5 per cent), while the number of public sector employees grew by 62,000 (+1.7 per cent)".

"The wild ride continues for Canadian employment readings".

There was a surge of 66,800 net new jobs across the country, but many Canadians were still left searching for work.

"Definitely the headline job gain was very impressive", said BMO chief economist Douglas Porter.

"There had been some risk going into the report that a big print was coming, given that the survey had lagged the job gains seen in the more reliable payrolls report over the past year".

Even with the improvement, the January number remained just under the inflation level, which suggests Canadians' salaries could have a tough time keeping up with rising prices for consumer goods.

"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote.