By Mabell, Dave on March 10, 2018.
Jobless rate continuing to fall
Albertans show the nation’s highest employment rate, with the province’s industrial and service sectors both posting gains.
And the unemployment rate continues to fall, according to latest reports from Statistics Canada. Alberta’s seasonally adjusted number dropped to 6.7 per cent last month, compared with 8.2 per cent a year earlier. The national rate is down to 5.8 per cent – tied for the lowest rate ever – from 6.6 per cent a year ago.
Southern Alberta’s jobless rate, currently 6.9 per cent, compares with Calgary at 7.7 per cent and Edmonton at 6.7. Red Deer is showing marked improvement, dipping to 5.5 per cent from an even nine per cent a year ago.
With 67.1 per cent of working-age men and women actually on the job, Alberta continues to record a higher workforce participation rate than the rest of Canada. Saskatchewan is next at 64.2 per cent and British Columbia is fourth at an even 62 per cent.
Through February, says StatsCan, more Albertans went to work in forestry, mining, oil and gas, education and health care. Job losses were recorded in agriculture, transportation, recreation and culture, professional and scientific services.
While 2.482 million Albertans were gainfully employed, it reported, there were about 165,300 who were looking for work – down from 203,800 a year ago.
Over the last year, labour analysts said, Alberta’s full time employment increased by 62,700, and overall employment increased by 45,000. The number of unemployed people fell by 38,500.
Across the nation, StatsCan says 282,500 jobs have been created over the last year, most of them full-time. The agency also notes that the average number of hours worked is inching up, while annual wage increases are averaging three per cent.
Since 1976, when StatsCan began reporting the unemployment rates, officials say that number has never dipped below 5.8 per cent. It was tied once in 2007, and again last December.
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