Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Job growth surpasses recession losses


Carol Christian
Today staff
In June, Alberta crossed a line: it officially regained all the jobs lost in the recession — 73,600 — and then some.
Alberta has regained 76,800 jobs or 104.3% of the jobs lost during the recession.
Job growth doesn't end there as Alberta had the strongest employment growth in Canada for July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%.
"This is just another indication that Alberta is in a period of solid economic growth," said Terry Jorden, Alberta Employment and Immigration spokesman.
In Fort McMurray, the unemployment rate had a small change to 5.7% for July from 5.4% the month before. It wasn't the number of employed people that changed. It's more people joined the labour force. In July, this area had 84,800 people eligible for work. Of those, 80,000 were employed and 4,800 were unemployed resulting in the unemployment rate of 5.7%.
Jorden explained that when the surveys are done by Statistics Canada, the large sampling of population becomes quite small when it gets down to individual regions.
When statistics on employment or unemployment jump one way or another from one month to another, Employment and Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk says, "I neither dance the happy dance, neither do I get overly depressed because that's what unemployment numbers do, but now we're starting to develop a trend."
For the last three months, Alberta has seen significant drops in unemployment and a significant increase in job creation, and more importantly, in full-time employment which, he added, is really good.
"Definitively, Canada is leading the world in economic recovery and without any shadow of a doubt, Alberta is leading Canada. That is a good news story."

But Lukaszuk was also cautionary about the numbers saying the dropping unemployment rate breeds another problem: "having an unemployment rate of 5.5% gets you very close to what we consider to be full employment which is somewhere between 4% and 5% and that means we are going to start to feel acute shortages of workers in a variety of sectors of our economy and that will affect us all."
carol.christian@fortmcmurraytoday.com