indicatorThe Owl

More jobs in March

Employment growth was higher than expected to end the first quarter

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 6 April 2023 1 min read

Well, that wasn’t supposed to happen.

Employment grew in both Canada and Alberta in March with the national unemployment rate holding steady at the near-record low of 5.0% while Alberta’s rate ticked down a tenth of a point to 5.7%.*

The national economy added 34,700 jobs (+0.2%) and Alberta added 13,700 (+0.6%).

On the one hand, this is good news; we want people to find work and we want the economy to be adding jobs.

On the other hand, because we are also fighting inflation, the Bank of Canada has been purposefully trying to slow down the economy which would normally mean fewer jobs and a rising unemployment rate.

That is why the expectations for job growth in March were lower than what the Labour Force Survey shows.

The positive job numbers in March do not necessarily mean that inflation won’t continue to moderate, but with the national economy also posting stronger-than-expected growth to start the year, the Bank of Canada may have to keep interest rates where they are for longer than we hoped or even consider another increase.

*The Labour Force Survey estimates for March are for the week of March 12 to 18, 2023.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Drywall is the seven-letter name of the common construction material made of gypsum plaster wrapped in paper. Other names include wallboard, sheetrock and gypsum board.

Today’s trivia question: According to Guinness World Records, what is the smallest trade union in the world?

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Alberta was 5.7% in March

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Alberta was 5.7% in March

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