When Statistics Canada released its latest Labour Force Survey on Friday, some key differences between Calgary and Edmonton were evident.
Calgary’s unemployment rate in September remained unchanged from the previous month at 8.2 per cent but Edmonton saw its unemployment rate drop to 6.3 per cent from August.
In terms of jobs, Calgary created 5,000 new positions during the month but on a year-over-year basis employment was down 5,500. Edmonton saw employment rise by 3,000 month over month and it was also up by 25,600 year over year.
Throughout Alberta, the unemployment rate rose to seven per cent from 6.7 per cent the previous month. Employment in the province dipped by 2,900 positions on a monthly basis but it is 55,500 positions higher than a year ago.
Employment across Canada rose by 63,300 positions on a monthly basis and by 222,400 positions on an annual basis as the unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 5.9 per cent nationally.
“Employment rose by 96,000 among private sector employees in September, the first increase since November 2017. The number of public sector employees was little changed compared with August 2018. On a year-over-year basis, employment increased for both private (+147,000 or +1.2 per cent) and public (+79,000 or +2.1 per cent) sector employees,” said the federal agency.
“The number of self-employed workers fell by 35,000 in the month. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among self-employed workers was little changed.”
StatsCan said employment for people in the core-aged group (25 to 54) rose by 54,000 in September, driven by increases in part-time work (+46,000). Employment gains were recorded among both core-aged men (+34,000) and women (+20,000). The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points, to 5.1 per cent for men and 5.0 per cent for women. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this age group rose for both men (+80,000 or +1.3 per cent) and women (+80,000 or +1.4 per cent), it added.
“The number of workers aged 55 and over was little changed in September following a decline in August. Their unemployment rate was little changed at 5.2 per cent. Compared with September 2017, employment was up by 52,000 (+1.3 per cent), with full-time employment increasing by 82,000 and part-time employment declining by 31,000,” said Statistics Canada.
“Employment for youth aged 15 to 24 was little changed as increases in part-time work (+38,000) were more than offset by decreases in full-time work (-44,000). Their unemployment rate was 11.0 per cent. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.