Unemployment rates rise in Calgary and Edmonton

Nationally, 55,900 jobs were created in February and employment was up 369,100 on an annual basis

Unemployment rates in the Calgary and Edmonton regions rose in February, according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported that the unemployment rate in the Calgary census metropolitan area jumped from 7.3 per cent in January to 7.6 per cent in February. The Edmonton census metropolitan area climbed from 6.4 per cent to 7.0 per cent.

Across Alberta, the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 per cent from 6.8 per cent the previous month and across Canada it remained the same at 5.8 per cent.

In terms of employment, Calgary saw a gain of 3,800 jobs on a monthly basis and 6,300 positions year over year. Edmonton saw a decrease of 2,500 jobs from the previous month but on an annual basis, employment was up by 34,700 positions.

Nationally, there were 55,900 jobs created from the previous month and employment was up 369,100 on an annual basis.

“Is the Canadian economy a dead parrot, or like the one in the Monty Python skit, maybe it’s just resting, since today’s jobs data seem to suggest that there’s a lot of life left in it,” wrote economist Avery Shenfeld of CIBC Economics in a commentary note. “A 56,000 jobs gain might be simply the last stages in these survey data catching up to the better one year track record for the separate data from employers, but it follows on the heels of a huge January gain.

“Hourly wage inflation is still relatively moderate, but this month did have all of the gains show up in full time work, and was led by fairly broad based gains in private sector hiring. The unemployment rate remains at a lean 5.8 per cent. While there’s nothing in this that spells a rate hike any time soon, the market might rethink the idea that the next move is sure to be a cut. As a result, front end yields will be a bit higher and the Canadian dollar firmer, with the yield impact cushioned by a weak payrolls report in the U.S. today.”

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business


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