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Employment in Alberta jumps in April

Employment in Alberta jumps in April

Posted on: 5/10/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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T.S. Eliot says April is the cruelest month, but Alberta’s job market didn’t seem to agree. According to the results of Statistics Canada’s latest monthly Labour Force Survey, released today, the total number of jobs in Alberta increased by 21,400 in April. Of these, 8,700 were full-time positions and 12,700 per part-time. On a year-over-year basis, employment was up by 1.1 per cent.

These results are encouraging given the many headwinds our economy is facing this year. Less encouraging is the situation of workers age 55 and over. Full-time jobs for this group fell by 7,900 in April and were down by 0.5 per cent compared to April 2018. Part-time jobs for Albertans this age group increased by 7,500 in April and were up by 17.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Alberta’s unemployment rate improved in April to 6.7 per cent, a drop of 0.2 percentage points compared to March.

Alberta’s unemployment rate has been above the national average for 41 consecutive months (including two months in late 2015 and early 2016 when it was equal to the national rate). Prior to this, Alberta’s unemployment was below the national level for 315 months in a row, from September 1989 through November 2015.

Behind these numbers are real Albertans who are struggling to find work. With sluggish economic growth in the forecast, Alberta’s unemployment rate is unlikely to see much improvement in 2019. So, while April’s increase in jobs is a welcome development, job seekers in Alberta are still facing a relatively cruel labour market.

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