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Jobs market slips in September

Jobs market slips in September

Posted on: 10/5/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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The path towards economic recovery is bound to see some rough patches. That’s exactly what happened in Alberta’s jobs market last month. Employment in the province declined by about 2,900 jobs in September compared to August.

The news isn’t all that bad. The job losses were all part-time. In fact, a loss of 6,800 part-time jobs was partially offset by an increase of 3,800 full-time jobs.

The provincial unemployment rate now stands at 7.0 per cent, an increase of 0.3 percentage points. It was driven higher by more people joining the labour force (+6,800). While an increase in the jobless rate is never good news, it does suggest people are either coming back to Alberta or simply returning to the labour market—both signs of an improving economy.

Calgary broke a three-month losing streak by adding 5,000 jobs in September. However, because its labour force increased by the same amount, the unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.2 per cent, the highest in the country among major cities. Edmonton added 3,000 new jobs, pushing its unemployment rate down to 6.3 per cent, close to the national average of 5.9 per cent.

Year-over-year, Alberta’s job increases have been strongest in manufacturing (+9.700), public administration (+9,500), and professional, scientific and technical services (+9,400). Agriculture (-5,500), transportation and warehousing (-5,500), and wholesale and retail trade (-2,300) are down over the last twelve months.

The overall message from the September jobs report is simple: Alberta’s economic recovery will be a matter of taking two steps forward and one step back.

Employment, graph

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