February 8, 2019 12:13 pm
Updated: February 8, 2019 9:29 pm

Alberta’s unemployment rate climbs to 6.8% to start 2019

WATCH ABOVE: These are not the numbers the NDP was hoping for heading into a spring election campaign. Jobs in Alberta are down for the second straight month. Tom Vernon has the details.

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Alberta shed jobs for a second-straight month and saw its jobless rate rise in January, according to Statistics Canada’s most recent numbers.

The agency’s latest labour force survey showed Alberta’s unemployment rate rose to 6.8 per cent in January from 6.4 per cent in December.

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READ MORE: Alberta added 24,000 jobs in November, provincial unemployment drops to 6.3%

Alberta lost 15,500 jobs from December to January, with 14,600 of those being full-time, the Statistics Canada data showed.

Compared to a year earlier — January 2018 — the province gained 10,700 employment opportunities, but 25,200 of those jobs were part-time, meaning there was a loss of 14,400 full-time jobs over the past year.

When the numbers were broken down by city, Edmonton experienced a marginal increase in unemployment to 6.4 per cent in January from 6.3 per cent in December, while Calgary’s rate dropped to 7.3 per cent in January from 7.5 per cent in December,

The national unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent in January, up from its 43-year low of 5.6 per cent in December, despite 66,800 net new jobs.

The agency said more Canadians searching for work caused the increase.

READ MORE: Canada adds 67K new jobs in January, but unemployment rate rises to 5.8%

British Columbia had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.7 per cent, while Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest at 11.4 per cent.

Ontario and Quebec had the biggest employment increases last month.

WATCH BELOW (Jan. 8, 2019): When it comes to jobs in Alberta, what is really going on? Global News at Noon spoke to economist Trevor Tombe for some important context on the situation.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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