“Employment ends 2016 on a positive note” – The Owl

Employment ends 2016 on a positive note

It’s a year many in Alberta will be happy to forget—at least when it comes to the economy. But new data on the job market suggest that the province ended the year on a positive note.In December, nearly 7,000 jobs were added. That follows a nasty drop in November and tops off a year that ended with nearly 20,000 fewer jobs than when it started.But the better news is the quality of jobs that were created. One of the major challenges for Alberta workers in 2016 was the deterioration of job quality—i.e., many more part-time jobs replaced full-time positions. In December, at least, this started to reverse. Last month there were 18,500 full-time jobs created, which was partially offset by a drop of 11,600 part-time jobs.

The provincial unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell from 9 per cent to 8.5 per cent. Calgary continues to have the highest jobless rate in the province. It fell a bit from 10.3 per cent to 10.2 per cent (three-month moving average). Edmonton’s rate rose last month to 7.4 per cent. Overall, Alberta ended 2016 with an average unemployment rate of 8.1 per cent.

The positive job numbers are an encouraging way to start 2017. Still, it is far too early to suggest all is well in Alberta’s labour market. Even though oil prices have stabilized and the general mood of the economy is improving, the job situation is likely to remain challenging in the first half of the year.

* Original source: ATB/TheOwl


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