The forestry, fishing, mining, and oil and gas sector tallied the most job gains in the Calgary Economic Region in the past year, according to a new report by the City of Calgary.
The city’s Labour Market Review said there were 8,300 more jobs in those sectors in March compared to a year ago. Other sectors showing strong year-over-year job gains were ‘other services’ at 5,300 and health care and social assistance at 4,600.
The sectors experiencing the biggest job losses from a year ago were construction at 9,300, trade at 4,600 and utilities at 2,800.
Total employment in the Calgary Economic Region was 894, 200 which was down 1,500 from February but up 4,700 from a year ago.
The region’s unemployment rate over the year fell from 8.0 per cent to 7.9 per cent.
“In March 2019, 76,800 persons were unemployed in the CER. Of the total, 13,600 were youth (aged 15 to 24), 46,700 were prime-age workers (aged 25 to 54), and 14,200 were older workers (aged 55 to 64). Compared to a year ago the number of unemployed persons in Calgary is unchanged,” said the city’s report.
“Using a long-term view, the age profile of those looking but unable to find jobs has changed. Unemployment of prime-age and older workers has increased. From 42 per cent in March 2008, the share of unemployed youth to total unemployment dropped to 18 per cent in March 2019. By contrast, over the same period, the share of unemployed prime-age workers increased from 50 to 61 per cent. The share of older workers rose from 8 to 21 per cent . . . The impact of unemployment and the conditions needed for job re-entry are often more difficult for prime-age and older workers.”
The report said a five per cent increase in the number of local Employment Insurance beneficiaries occurred at the turn of the year. The number of people receiving EI benefits in Calgary increased slightly from 14,900 in December 2018 to 15,700 in January 2019. That number, however, is down 25.3 per cent from a year ago.
“Several years after the 2015-2016 recession, the number of EI beneficiaries remains high. Using a longer-term reference point from eleven years ago, the number of local and provincial EI beneficiaries is at a much higher level. Relative to January 2008, EI beneficiaries increased by 137 per cent in Calgary and 163 per cent in Alberta. Over the same period, the number declined by 12 per cent in Canada,” said the report.
“There was a massive inflow of workers to Calgary and Alberta during the economic boom of 2010 to 2014. The data appears to suggest that some prime-age and older workers affected by the recession are seeking jobs several years after. These individuals do not show up on EI data because the benefits last for a limited time.”
– Mario Toneguzzi