The oil slump continues to hit the Alberta job market hard.
Another 24,000 jobs were lost in May. 40,000 full-time positions were gone, despite a gain in part-time work by 16,000. The province’s unemployment rate was up 0.6% to 7.8%. Compared to this time last year, we’re down 54,000 jobs and unemployment is up almost 2%.
While Fort McMurray was not counted in the numbers, the wildfire did have its effect on a number of industries. Hours worked was down by 5.1%, the largest drop in 30 years.
“The secondary impacts on the provincial economy were probably partly behind the 40,000 full-time jobs that were reported lost,” says Edmonton Chief Economist John Rose. He’s confident that we’ll see some of those back soon enough. “The Edmonton economy will benefit from the activity related to the rebuilding and restart of activity in the Fort McMurray area.”
Edmonton lost 2,900 in May, and unemployment remained steady at 7%. Rose says in the long-term the trend is more positive. “What we need to bear in mind is that, over the past 12 months, Edmonton has generated just under 30,000 new jobs, that’s almost 30% of all net new jobs in Canada.”
Nationally, there was a drop in the unemployment rate by 0.2% to 6.9% thanks to fewer people looking for work. (kdr)