A mixed-bag of good and bad news out of the October jobs report.
Last month we saw 9,000 jobs added in the province, however, over 8,000 of those were part-time positions.
In Edmonton, unemployment plunged 8 tenths to 6.9%. ATB Chief Economist Todd Hirsch said fewer people looking for work helped bring that number down.
“We saw a big drop in the labour force in Edmonton, in other words, I think people might be moving out of Edmonton, maybe those workers returning back to other provinces.”
The capital city fared better than its neighbours to the south, where unemployment jumped to 10.2%.
“Edmonton’s relatively more diverse economy is helping out. We did see, in October, there was a pretty strong gain in public sector jobs, and Edmonton, of course, has more of those kinds of jobs than Calgary does.”
While we did see more people hired in the oil industry, it won’t likely be a long-term improvement.
“They were probably part-time jobs, maybe contract jobs or temporary kinds of jobs. I don’t think there’s a huge improvement in the quality of jobs.”
Province-wide, the unemployment rate remained steady at 8.5%, but Hirsch doesn’t think we’re out of the woods yet.
“So I’m still expecting, for the last little bit of 2016 and into 2017, still more challenge and more rising unemployment as other sectors outside of oil and gas are now dealing with a soft economy.”
Across the country, 40,000 jobs were added, and unemployment stayed the same at 7%. (kdr, chqr)