A drop in the number of jobs created and a jump in people joining the labour force combined to hit Edmonton’s unemployment rate last month.
The jobless rate went up in December by 0.6 per cent to 7.4, as we lost 3,000 jobs, all of them full-time.
“Where we saw real weakness was in construction and manufacturing, and both of those sectors are dominated by full-time employment,” said City of Edmonton economist John Rose. “Many of those three thousand positions that we lost in December were, in fact, full-time positions.”
As we continue into 2017, we may see the jobless rate continue to rise.
“Our underlying population is continuing to grow, people are continuing to move to Edmonton and that’s good news in the sense that people perceive opportunities here. However, that growing labour force with outstrip the growth in employment, so we could see the unemployment rate drift further up.”
It was a rough year in general in Edmonton, with the heaviest losses hitting from May to September. Rose is optimistic that we’ll see things recover this year, although with the number of full-time jobs lost in December it may be slower than previously thought.
December saw the province add 7,000 jobs, all of them full-time, as there were 18,000 positions created to 11,000 part-time jobs lost.
Looking at the whole year in Alberta, 2016 saw 19,000 jobs lost, and unemployment went up 1.5 per cent.
Nationally, 54,000 full-time positions were added, with unemployment still ticking up a tenth to 6.9 per cent, as more people got into the labour market. (kdr)