Alberta’s jobless rate at the highest level since 1994

Calgary rate the highest among all Canadian cities listed by Stats Can

Canada’s unemployment rate jumped sharply in July — to its highest level in nearly 22 years — as more people began looking for work in the province, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

It marks the first time the province has had a worse jobless rate than Nova Scotia.

The federal agency said employment in the province remained “essentially unchanged” from June, but a growing workforce saw the unemployment rate rise 0.7 points to 8.6 per cent. That’s the highest rate in the province since September 1994.

From July 2015, employment in the province was down 49,000, as full-time employment losses of 104,000 (5.4 per cent) were offset by an increase in part-time work. The unemployment rate in July 2015 was 6.2 per cent.

At the local level, Calgary’s unemployment rate was 8.6 per cent, up 0.3 points from June, and the highest among Canadian cities listed by Statistics Canada. In Edmonton, the rate was 7.7 per cent, up 0.7 points from the previous month. Statistics Canada notes local figures may fluctuate widely due to small statistical samples.

Despite reaching a longtime high, unemployment is still far from the province’s historic low. According to StatsCan numbers dating back to 1976, the unemployment rate in the province reached its highest level in the mid-1980s, hitting 12.4 per cent in September 1984.

Nationally, the Canadian labour market lost 31,200 net jobs last month as the country experienced the biggest monthly drop in full-time work in nearly five years.

Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey says the market shed 71,400 full-time positions in July — a number partly offset by an increase of 40,200 in part-time jobs.

The agency says full-time work in Canada hasn’t suffered a one-month blow this big since October 2011.

The report says the national unemployment rate in July crept up to 6.9 per cent from 6.8 per cent the previous month.

— With files from The Canadian Press


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: