Alberta’s unemployment rate is the highest it’s been since 1994.
More people looking for work pushed the jobless rate up by 0.7% to 8.6% last month. That’s as we only lost 1,400 jobs, during a month where the country dropped over 31,000.
ATB Financial’s Todd Hirsch says compared to our numbers last year, it’s not too pretty. Alberta is down 104,000 full-time jobs, while gaining 54,000 part-time ones.
“A lot of those people working part-time jobs would like to be or need to be working full-time, so even though there wasn’t a big drop in the number of people working, there is a clear deterioration in the quality of jobs in Alberta.”
Edmonton’s unemployment rate is also up by 0.7% to 7.7%.
“It’s not unusual to see the unemployment rate jump up or down even half a percentage point or more, like we saw in July,” said Hirsch. “What was a bit unusual was a big surge in the labour force, the number of people looking for jobs.”
That surge may be attributed to displaced Fort McMurray residents starting the job search from places like Edmonton. That means things may smooth out over time, but Hirsch figures we’re not out of the woods just yet.
“I think we’re still looking at probably a few more months of struggle before we can stabilize the economy, and see improvements in the job market.”
Across the country, the jobless rate was nudged up by 0.1% to 6.9%. Ontario and Newfoundland bore the brunt of the job losses, shedding 36,000 and 5,000 respectively. (kdr)