Calgary region sees spike in employment while Edmonton falls

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in CalgaryIn the past year, employment in the Calgary census metropolitan area has risen by 50,300 positions while in the Edmonton CMA it has fallen by 9,200, according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada.

The federal agency said employment in the Calgary region was up in September by 200 positions from the month before as the unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 per cent from 7.3 per cent.

In the Edmonton region, employment fell by 3,100 positions month-over-month but the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 per cent from 7.4 per cent.

Across Alberta, the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 per cent in September from 7.2 per cent the month before as 4,900 new jobs were created. Employment was up 10,700 positions year-over-year.

Statistics Canada said employment rose by 53,700 in September across the country, driven by gains in full-time work. The unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 per cent. On an annual basis, employment was up 455,900.

“For men in the core working ages of 25 to 54, employment rose by 36,000 in September. Their unemployment rate declined 0.5 percentage points to 4.4 per cent, the lowest rate since September 1979. On a year-over-year basis, employment for this group grew by 134,000 (+2.1 per cent). Among core-aged women, employment rose by 33,000, the largest gain for this group since January 2017. Their unemployment rate declined 0.3 percentage points to 4.2 per cent. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for core-aged women was up by 78,000 (+1.3 per cent),” said StatsCan.

The federal agency said employment in natural resources declined by 7,000, continuing a downward trend that began in June. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry decreased by 24,000 (-6.8 per cent).

Avery Shenfeld, an economist with CIBC, said Canada’s labour market seems to have been vaccinated against the global economic flu going around. 

“Another 54K jobs were piled on to the prior month’s 81K gain, and while the composition wasn’t ideal, wages looked quite firm on a year on year basis,” he said in a commentary note. “The job gains were in full time work, but private sector paid employment fell 21K (but is still up 2.3 per cent year-on-year). The job gains were in public sector work (particularly health care) and self employment. 

“Still, with resources a key exception, the 12-month trends are generally healthy, and average wages for permanent workers were up 4.3 per cent from a year ago, a figure that does look suspiciously high but does signal a firming in pay scales. A jobless rate of only 5.5 per cent will cement the case for the Bank of Canada to remain on hold in October, but we continue to look ahead towards the global slowdown impacting Canadian data over the balance of the year.”

© Calgary’s Business


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