November 3, 2017 1:14 pm
Updated: November 3, 2017 8:48 pm

Alberta adds jobs in October but unemployment holds steady

WATCH ABOVE: The price of oil surged again on Friday, topping $55 per barrel for the first time in months. At the same time, new jobs numbers show Alberta businesses are hiring. Tom Vernon reports.

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It continues to be a slow climb back from the downturn for Alberta’s economy as is evident in the latest unemployment figures released Friday.

In its latest Labour Force Survey,  Statistics Canada said 12,000 full-time jobs were created in the province in October, but the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.8 per cent.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the jobless rate declined by just 0.8 per cent.

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ATB Financial’s Todd Hirsch said Friday there are some good signs in this report.

“The jobs that are coming back over the last 12 months have been in the private sector and they’ve been full-time jobs. So that is actually is a very positive sign that Alberta’s economy continues to advance, ” Hirsch said.

READ MORE: Canada’s labour market surges past expectations, adds 35K jobs in October

Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate has not fully rebounded to what it was in the fall of 2014, just before oil prices tumbled. The jobless rate was 4.4 per cent in November 2014 and reached a peak of 9.0 per cent in November 2016.

Alberta had the second largest employment increase of all the provinces, behind Quebec.

“The previous three months were kind of weak, in fact, [there were] job losses in July and September, so we really kind of needed a lift,” Hirsch said.

Hirsh thinks we can expect to see this trend of job gains to continue in Alberta, “even if we do suffer one or two months, statistically, of some job losses.”

Calgary’s rate dropped slightly last month from 8.5 to 8.3 per cent. Edmonton’s situation was similar, with the rate falling from 8.5 to 8.2 per cent.

Nationally, the economy added over 35,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate crept higher to 6.3 per cent with more young people looking for work.

Employment rose in several industries, led by “other services”; including construction, information, culture and recreation, and agriculture. Employment declined in wholesale and retail trade.

–With files from 630 CHED

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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