Alberta loses 14,000 jobs in February

Mar 17, 2015

The collapse in oil prices continues to hit Alberta’s labour market with employment in the province falling by 14,000 in February, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.8 percentage points to 5.3 per cent, the highest since September 2011, said Statistics Canada. The federal agency reported Friday that employment losses were in a number of industries, but most notably in the natural resources sector which alone shed 7,000 positions last month.

Since hitting a peak in September 2014, employment in the sector has decreased by 20,000 jobs, or 11 per cent. Other losses last month also occurred in the retail and wholesale trade; professional, scientific and technical services; as well as manufacturing sectors.

The Edmonton census metropolitan area saw its unemployment rate hold steady at 4.8 per cent in February, compared to January. Edmonton-region jobs increased by 4,800, or 0.6 per cent, from January. Compared to a year earlier, Edmonton region jobs grew by 14,300 or 1.9 per cent. In the Calgary census metropolitan area jobs rose by 2,100 or 0.3 per cent from the previous month while the unemployment rate went up to 5.0 per cent from 4.7 per cent.

On an annual basis, Calgary region employment has grown by 26,100 or 3.3 per cent. Year-over-year, Alberta has seen the creation of 36,700 new jobs for an increase of 1.6 per cent. Nationally, Statistics Canada said employment was unchanged in February but the unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 6.8 per cent as more people searched for work. Across Canada, 1,000 jobs were shed from the previous month.In the 12 months to February, employment increased by 129,000, or 0.7 per cent, with most of the growth in the second half of the period, it said, adding that full-time employment rose by 121,000, or 0.8 per cent, while there was little change in part-time work.

Original article found: http://edmontonjournal.com/business/alberta-loses-14000-jobs-in-february