Work force strong in Alberta
Published Friday, January 6, 2012 5:38PM MST
According to Statistics Canada, Alberta ended 2011 with the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
The unemployment rate in December was 4.9 percent in Alberta which is nearly three percent below the national average of 7.5 percent.
Nationally, the economy created 17,500 new jobs in December which is a big improvement over November, when the economy lost 18,600 jobs.
As many economists expected, the overall picture from Statistics Canada's latest jobs report is not a rosy one.
The unemployment rate rose for the third month in a row -- the longest advance in two years.
Most of the new jobs that were created were in the weaker categories of part-time and self-employment. Among the full-time work sector, jobs fell by 25,500.
Half of the jobs created in the country, last year, were right here in Alberta and the biggest job gains were in the health care and energy sectors.
ATB Financial Senior Economist Todd Hirsch expects this trend to continue in 2012, but at a slower pace.
"In 2011, we saw a very, very large increase in the number of jobs, difficult to reproduce that two years in a row, plus with everything going on in the global economy, Canada, Alberta we are affected by that we could see some softness, said Hirsch.
Manufacturing accounted for the majority of the job increases in December, adding 30,400 workers. But construction saw a drop of 12,000.
Every province saw an increase in employment except Quebec, which lost 25,700 jobs, mostly in the construction, health care and social assistance sectors.
After a strong start early in 2011, Statistics Canada says Canada has now gone six months without any significant job gains. Of the 199,000 jobs that were created in 2011, almost all came in the first six months.
Here are the provincial unemployment rates in December (previous month in brackets):
- Newfoundland 12.8 (13.2)
- Prince Edward Island 11.4 (11.1)
- Nova Scotia 7.8 (8.6)
- New Brunswick 9.4 (9.8)
- Quebec 8.7 (8.0)
- Ontario 7.7 (7.9)
- Manitoba 5.4 (5.5)
- Saskatchewan 5.2 (5.1)
- Alberta 4.9 (5.0)
- British Columbia 7.0 (7.0)
(With files from ctv.ca)