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Jobs report surprises on the upside

Jobs report surprises on the upside

Posted on: 11/3/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​While Albertans are still digging into their Halloween candy, the real treat of the week may have come in October’s job report.

Last month, Alberta racked up a gain of 12,000 new jobs—all of them full time. That follows big losses in July and September and only a small gain in August. October’s employment gains were one of the largest the province has seen in the post-recession period. They also support the idea that Alberta’s economy continues to move in the right direction, albeit gradually.

Because the size of the labour force (that is, the total number of people either working or looking for work) also rose by about the same amount, the unemployment rate dropped by only 1/10th of a percentage point to 7.8 per cent. Calgary’s unemployment rate edged down to 8.3 per cent, while Edmonton’s lowered to 8.2 per cent (both rates are the three-month moving average).

Compared to a year ago, the sectors responsible for the strongest job gains were transportation and logistics (+8,300), manufacturing (+7,800) and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (+5,600). Employment in construction (-4,700) and accommodation and food (-4,200) posted the largest losses.

Jobs created by governments—including health and social services, education and the public sector—have not increased significantly over the last 12 months.

Employment in Alberta, graph

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