Eighty-five hundred jobs were lost in Edmonton in August. The numbers reported by Statistics Canada pushed the unemployment rate to eight per cent. It’s hard to find the last time we’ve seen that in Edmonton.
“In April of 2010 we peaked out at 7.7 per cent unemployment, so the unemployment rate is now above we experienced here in Edmonton in the last recession,” John Rose, the City of Edmonton economist said in an interview. “My data only goes back to 2001. It’s the highest unemployment rate we’ve seen here since 2001.”
“The severity of the downturn here in Alberta certainly is worse this time around than what we saw in the quote–great recession of 2008, ’09 and ’10,” Rose said.
“That’s reflective of the fact how badly hurt the energy sector is here in Alberta and how that’s cascaded through the rest of the economy.”
In crunching Friday’s report, Rose said there were a couple of glimmers of good news. “Full time employment actually was up, not a whole lot, but full time employment was up and part time employment was down which is always a good thing.”
“And we actually saw employment in areas like manufacturing, construction, and the energy sector stabilize. We’ve taken our lumps on the goods producing side of the economy and that means going forward the unemployment rate should probably continue to hover around 8 per cent.”
Eight per cent is expected to carry into early 2017 before easing off. “It’s very unlikely we’re going to get up to the very high rates of unemployment that we’re seeing in places like Calgary which is running at nine per cent right now,” Rose said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised to see Calgary get up to ten per cent in the not too distant future.”