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Jobs shed in January, but full-time work roars ahead

Jobs shed in January, but full-time work roars ahead

Posted on: 2/9/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

By almost every indicator, Alberta’s economy has moved out of recession and is once again growing. Still, that doesn’t mean there won’t be the occasional month of set-back. The January labour market report shows the province lost 5,900 jobs in January, breaking the pattern of strong job growth set during the last three months of 2017.

But digging deeper into the data, we find much more encouraging news. The loss of jobs in January was due entirely to a drop of 33,400 part-time jobs. Full-time jobs, on the other hand, shot ahead by 27,500 positions. That’s one of the largest monthly gains in full-time work in our province’s history.

Calgary appeared to be the winner when it comes to job creation. It gained about 6,800 jobs in January, while Edmonton shed 4,600 (both measured by a three-month moving average trend). However, Calgary’s 7.6 per cent unemployment rate is higher than Edmonton’s 7.2 per cent.

The message in today’s jobs report is simple: don’t look only at the headline number. The loss of total employment in January does not properly describe the situation. The report proves that the quality of employment in Alberta is improving. Compared to a year ago, full-time jobs are up 88,800 (+4.9 per cent)--the strongest performance of any province in the country.​

Employment, Alberta, graph​ ​

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