Job market roars back to life in September

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX:  Taking the last several months into account, Alberta still appears to be the place to be for job seekers.
 
After shedding jobs over the summer, Alberta’s labour market was back in high gear at the beginning of fall. The 21,200 jobs added last month marked the highest monthly increase in over three years and one of the biggest jumps on record for the province. About two-thirds of the new jobs were full-time positions. (All figures are seasonally adjusted.)
 
Alberta’s unemployment rate fell to 4.4 per cent, a drop of half a percentage point from August. The unemployment rate in the province has fluctuated between four and five per cent, representing a healthy, balanced job market. Alberta has added over 54,000 jobs over the last twelve months, most of these in manufacturing, educational services and construction.
 
The jobs report also had good news for the country. Canada’s economy added 74,000 jobs, the majority of them full-time. Ontario, which has suffered from very slow job growth over the last year, saw the largest increase with almost 25,000 new positions. Saskatchewan also added 7,000 new jobs. The national unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.8 per cent—the lowest it’s been since December 2008.
 
Alberta’s strong job results last month more than made up for the large number of jobs lost over the summer. With over 11,000 jobs shed in August, some may have worried about the health of the province’s economy. But one month of data is never a trend. Taking the last several months into account, Alberta still appears to be the place to be for job seekers.
 
Todd Hirsch • Chief Economist        October 10, 2014 

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