Red Deer area January unemployment rate lowest in Alberta

Galtero Lara
Febrero 10, 2019

Local employment grew in January, pushing the jobless rate down to an estimated 5.9 per cent, from 6.3 per cent in December, according to Statistics Canada figures released Friday.

(StatsCan warns with unadjusted data, one can not make month-to-month comparisons since different seasonal factors influence each month).

Kelowna boasts the province's lowest unemployment rate, dipping two ticks last month to 3.1 per cent.

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. saw an increase in January.

Overall, employment gains were driven entirely by private sector employees while the number of self-employed decreased.

"I think it does underscore that for all the doom and gloom in the market, the Canadian economy is not in a awful place in quite a few sectors", said Andrew Kelvin, senior rates strategists at TD Securities.

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Economists had expected the addition of 8,000 jobs for the month and an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. In fact, 2018 was B.C.'s highest annual wage growth in the past 10 years.

Last week, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said the country has been in a "puzzling" stretch of weak wage growth at a time when the job market has been experiencing one of its biggest labour shortages in years.

In a note to clients Friday, CIBC Chief Economist Royce Mendes wrote the latest job readings were "a vehicle stuck on one of Canada's clogged highways: speeding up then slowing down just to speed back up again". Many analysts expect governor Stephen Poloz to wait until much later in 2019 before making a move.

The job growth was led by young workers with those between ages 15 and 24 was up 53,000 last month and split between men (+27,000) and women (+26,000). The unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 per cent as more people looked for work.

"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote.

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