indicatorThe Owl

Alberta’s labour market finishes the year on a good note

Job gains pushed the unemployment rate down to 7.3% in December

By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 7 January 2022 1 min read

Seasonally adjusted employment in Alberta ticked up by 0.5% in December* and stood 0.9% above its pre-pandemic level set in February 2020.

The increase was entirely due to full time jobs, which grew by 16,100 (+0.9%) to the highest level seen in over two years. Conversely, part-time employment eased by 5,000 (-1.2%) after jumping in November.

The job gains pushed the unemployment rate down to 7.3%, the lowest since December 2019. Meanwhile, as more Albertans started looking for work, the participation rate edged up to 69.3%.

On an unadjusted basis, the average number of jobs in the province was up 5.1% in 2021 compared to 2020 while the unemployment rate averaged 8.7%.

Despite the solid performance, recovery in Alberta’s labour market remained uneven with employment in 7 out of 16 industries still below their respective pre-pandemic levels.

A similar story was echoed nationally as aggregate employment in Canada increased by 54,700 (+0.3%) while the unemployment rate eased for the seventh consecutive month to 5.9%.

*December Labour Force Survey data reflects labour market conditions during the week of December 12 to 18.

Answer to the previous trivia question: All things being equal, if more people start looking for jobs (i.e., enter the labour force), the unemployment rate will go up as a result.

Today’s trivia question: From the “jobs that don’t exist anymore” file: What is a “knocker upper?”

The unemployment rate in Alberta went from 7.6% in November 2021 to 7.3% in December

The unemployment rate in Alberta went from 7.6% in November 2021 to 7.3% in December

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