Western Alberta unemployment rate drops to 4.8 per cent

By Tyler Marr	
		Economic spreadsheet		Despite gains unemployment ticks up to 5.8 per cent as more look for work				Feb 08 2019

By Tyler Marr Economic spreadsheet Despite gains unemployment ticks up to 5.8 per cent as more look for work Feb 08 2019

According to Statistics Canada, there were 18, 873, 900 people working last month across all of Canada, with 1,162,000 people unemployed.

Most of the jobs were in the private sector, which recorded the biggest month-to-month increase since the agency started collecting the data point in 1976.

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. edged up to 5.5% in the first month of 2019.

Here in Saskatchewan, employment dropped by 2,800 positions, but the unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.5 per cent as the province's labour force shrunk to 610,100 from 613,200.

Halyk said the Workforce Planning Board's new labour market report was titled Help Wanted: Building the Talent Pool because so many employers are struggling to find workers.

"Overall, it's been a good day for readings on the Canadian economy", says Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC, in a research note.

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The Bank of Canada has been monitoring wage growth ahead of its interest-rate decisions as it tries to determine how well indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs. In January 2018, the jobless rate for the region was listed at 6.6%. The central bank stayed on the sidelines last month after five hikes since July 2017, and most analysts expect no action.

Last month, the rate was at 5.4%, nearly a full percentage point jump.

In contrast, Alberta saw a second straight month of declines, down 16,000 positions, vaulting the unemployment rate to 6.8 per cent.

Part-time job gains outpaced full-time, 36,000 versus 30,900, and youth age 15 to 24 led employment growth, accounting for a whopping 79 percent of total job gains and virtually all the part-time gains.

When comparing the Lethbridge-Medicine Hat region, the unemployment rate is at 5.4 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent last month, according to the province's labour force statistics.

"Wages continued to rise in January, with B.C. among the top provinces for year-over-year growth".

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