January unemployment rate rises in Alberta

The Canadian economy added nearly 67,000 net new jobs in January with strong gains in the private sector

Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey provides estimates of employment and unemployment, based on a sampling of households in communities.

Compared to a year earlier - January 2018 - the province gained 10,700 employment opportunities, but 25,200 of those jobs were part-time, meaning there was a loss of 14,400 full-time jobs over the past year.

The significance is that had people not left the labour force in the numbers they did, our jobless rate would now be significantly higher.

Economists had expected the addition of 8,000 jobs for the month and an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. The unemployment rate did rise, but only because of an increase in the participation rate.

But as more people entered the workforce last month the province's unemployment rate edged up 0.3 percentage points to 4.7% between December and January. That was down from 63.8 per cent in January 2018. Stephen from 7.1 to 6.5, Fredericton-Oromocto from 7.9 to 7.7 and Edmundston-Woodstock from 7.4 to 7.3.

Elsewhere, though, including Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba, jobs were added.

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He credited recent job gains drawing people back in as for why the participation rate is running at its highest level since 2017.

The country saw a surprise rush of 66,800 net new jobs in January in a gain fuelled by a hiring surge in the private sector, Statistics Canada said Friday. "We continue to work on ways of connecting these employers to people looking for work or advancement".

The jobless rate, in Canada, for men 25 years of age or older was 5.2%.

The bumper jobs data, the second month of outsized gains in the last three, is one of the last major indicators ahead of the Bank of Canada's next rate decision on March 6. In Alberta, the rates were 6.7% (men) and 5.3% (women).

The nation-wide data can be viewed through Statistics Canada's website.

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