New jobs report says Calgary’s unemployment increased
11 March, 2019, 10:27 | Author: Darnell Patrick
Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate for the Grande Prairie-Peace River-Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House region stood at 5.1 percent last month, up from 4.8 per cent in January.
The overall Canadian increase even outpaced job creation in the United States, where figures showed an increase of just 20,000 new positions last month.
The jobs increase largely reflects higher labor force numbers, rather than falling unemployment, due to rising participation rates and accelerating population growth over the past couple of years.
That's up from 4.8 per cent in January but down from the 5.3 per cent the rate was at the same time previous year. In an economy with more than half a million vacant jobs, many seem to be finding work.
With the trend pace of hiring the strongest it's been since the turn of the millennium and full-time jobs leading the way, there is a lot to like in today's report, even allowing for the usual disclaimer about the monthly noise. The sector employed 43,400 people in February, according to Statistics Canada, up from 42,500 a month earlier - its sixth consecutive month of gains. Strong full-time gains, mostly in the province of Ontario, offset a loss in part-time roles, with 67,400 full-time jobs added from January to February, and 11,600 part-time jobs shed.
Job growth in professional, scientific and technical services led employment growth, up by 18,000 jobs in February and increasing notably for the third time in four months.
The Bank of Canada keeps close watch of several wage indicators ahead of policy decisions on its key interest rate. "This is a very strong indication of employer confidence, to create that many full-time jobs", said Derek Holt, vice president of capital markets economics at Scotiabank. In particular, it focuses on a reading called "wage common", which incorporates payroll data from several sources, not just from the labour force survey. Over the past year, employment in the industry has grown by 6.8 per cent.
Employment in natural resources grew by 8,000 Canada-wide in the past month, while public administration positions saw an additional 14,000 spots filled in February.
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