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Alberta's job market backpedals

Alberta's job market backpedals

Posted on: 10/6/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

After showing some modest momentum in August, Alberta’s job market backpedalled in September.

According to the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, Alberta lost close to 8,000 jobs in September. The majority of the job losses were concentrated around part-time work (-9,900). There was a modest gain of 2,300 full-time positions to offset the large decline in part-time jobs.

In September, more Albertans stopped looking for work, which meant that the size of the labour force fell as well. This nudged the unemployment rate down from 8.1 per cent in August to 7.9 per cent in September.

Slight job gains were scattered throughout the economy, but notable gains took place in health care and social assistance (+3,800) and construction (+3,000). Most losses occurred in the service producing sector (-10,600) particularly around accommodation and food (-7,800) as well as information, culture and recreation (-3,400). Many positions within the service sector are tailored towards part time, and given the losses around part-time work in September, this isn’t surprising.

Still, the trend over the last 12 months continues to show progression in those sectors hardest hit during the recession. Transportation and warehousing (+11,100 jobs), manufacturing (+6,200) and natural resources (+8,000) jobs are all well above where they were at the same time last year.

September’s job report has again confirmed that the path towards recovery is not easy or predictable. With three straight months of cuts to part-time jobs, it’s clear that employers are still reluctant to start hiring back too many workers and that means Alberta job seekers could experience a couple more difficult months.

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