According to a Statistics Canada release, Alberta’s employment statistics indicate a modest weakening of the labour market, but in Calgary both employment and unemployment rate show favourable numbers.
Employment in the Calgary metropolitan area grew by 800 jobs from March, a year-to year increase of 16,600. The unemployment rate in the region fell to 5.9%, down from 6.1% in the last month. In April 2010, the unemployment rate was 7.6%.
Alberta’s rates are not so positive. About 130,300 Albertans were unemployed in April, up 4.9% from the previous month. Employment declined by 0.2 to 2,060,100 jobs, but on the annual basis it grew by almost 3.0%. Compared to other provinces, Alberta’s employment rate is the highest and its unemployment rate is the third lowest, following Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Engineer jobs contribute most strongly to the high level of employment.
According to Alberta Employment and Immigration, employment decreased the most from March in trade and manufacturing and increased most in finance, insurance, real estate, and leasing.
“A broad array of economic indicators generally shows that Alberta’s economy has been enjoying healthy steady growth recently, although as is clear from report few indicators go up in a straight line. Moving forward conditions still appear to be positive for the Alberta economy and hence the labour market is likely to see further job gains over the year,” claims Dan Sumner, economist with ATB Financial in Calgary.
The Conference Board of Canada predicted annual employment growth in the Calgary CMA of 3.0% in 2011, 3.8% in 2012, and 2.4% in 2013. In Alberta, the Board forecast modest employment growth of 2.2% this year, 3.0% in 2012, and 2.2% in 2013.