Alberta gains 9,400 jobs in June, leading the country in job growth
The Canadian unemployment rate unexpectedly rose last week, as the country shed 9,400 jobs across the country. Job creation was particularly strong in the west, reflecting a healthy resource sector. Canada's overall unemployment rate rose to 7.1%.
Much of the job losses were seen in Ontario which shed almost 34,000 jobs. Ontario's manufacturing industry has been hit particularly hard by the high dollar and the high cost of electricity. Ontario has some of the highest electricity costs in North America; the province phased out its coal powered plants and has shifted to more expensive nuclear power. The newly re-elected Ontario government is also introducing more anti-competitive policies, such new Ontario pension payroll deductions and a new aviation fuel tax.
Alberta led the country once again in job gains, creating another 9,400 jobs for the month. In fact, Alberta created almost 82,000 jobs in the past 12 months, representing about 90% of all jobs created in the country. Over 110,000 people moved to Alberta in the past year, a stunning net migration figure considering a provincial population of only 4 million people. This strong population growth has also helped fuel a very hot housing market in the province.
This trend in population and job growth reflects the strength of Alberta's energy sector, specifically the oil sands sector, and the many direct and indirect jobs created as a result. In the absence of Alberta's energy industry, Canada's economy and employment picture would be severely depressed. In fact, if Alberta were removed from the calculation, Canada would have a net loss of 10,000 jobs for the year. Basically, zero job growth for the country.
"Over 90% of all jobs created in the past year have been in Alberta. Without the oil sands sector, Canada's economy and employment picture would be severely depressed."
Some other key highlights of the StatsCan report:
- The overall unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.1% (from 7.0%) due to more people looking for work.
- On a positive note, part-time jobs decreased as more people transitioned to full-time positions.
- The number of people self-employed increased by 23,400 in June. Self-employed people do not count as unemployed and helped minimize the numbers of jobs this past month.
- The youth unemployment picture continues to deteriorate. There were 44,000 jobs lost among those aged 15-24 while their unemployment remains unchanged at 13.4%
- In contrast, job growth was particularly strong among those over 55; this is attributed to Canada's aging workforce. The unemployment rate for the over 55 segment dropped to 5.8%.
- If Canada were to adopt US unemployment metrics, the Canadian unemployment rate would be on par with the US at 6.1%.