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Alberta's unemployment rate steady in January, Lethbridge rate jumps


Alberta's unemployment rate remained largely unchanged last month, though Lethbridge saw a noticeable spike.

Statistics Canada released its January 2024 Labour Force Survey on Friday, which showed Alberta sitting at 6.2 per cent, down just one-tenth of a percentage point from the month before.

ATB Financial noted that employment in Alberta picked up steam in January, rising 10,100 following a 5,000 increase in December.

"The service sector was responsible for the January uptick, with a notable increase in transportation, finance/insurance/real estate, and educational services, offsetting declines in the goods sector (particularly construction)," said ATB in The Owl.

"All the new jobs added were full-time, offsetting part-time losses."

"Alberta’s economy is expected to remain one of the strongest in Canada in 2024, and jobs are a critical part of this," said Matt Jones, minister of jobs, economy and trade, in a Friday statement.

"I remain confident in the vibrancy of Alberta’s economy despite the economic pressures that all provinces will face this year. I also look forward to ensuring Alberta remains the best place to live, work, invest, start or grow a business and raise a family."

In Lethbridge, the unemployment rate jumped to 5.3 per cent in January from 4.6 per cent in December 2023.

Neither Calgary nor Edmonton saw any change, sitting at 5.8 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7 per cent, the first decline since December 2022.

Employment increased in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and declined in Saskatchewan.

There were employment gains spread across several industries in the services-producing sector, led by wholesale and retail trade as well as finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

There were declines in other industries, led by accommodation and food services.

The Labour Force Survey examined the week of Jan. 14 to 20, 2024. Top Stories

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