Unemployment drops in Fort McMurray as construction jobs added last month

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Originally Posted: http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/2016/11/04/unemployment-drops-in-fort-mcmurray-as-construction-jobs-grew-last-month

The impacts of rebuilding Fort McMurray could be seen in October’s labour data, as the unemployment rate shrank and the number of full-time jobs grew.

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While 700 jobs related to natural resources were lost in the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region, 2,700 construction have been added since May, when Statistics Canada last released labour data for the economic area.

May was the first time the construction industry grew locally since September 2015, but last month’s numbers are still 1,700 jobs less than what it was during the same period in 2015.

Health care, social services and support services also saw slight job growth last month, while retail showed no change since May.

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Unemployment fell by 0.4 points to 9.1 per cent, continuing its downward fall since April’s high of 10.2 per cent. The labour force – the number of people working or actively looking for work – also increased.

The number of full-time jobs grew for the first time since February, with 4,100 new positions added to the local economy. The number of part-time jobs shrank for the first time since October 2015, losing 2,700 positions.

Across the province, natural resource jobs actually increased, with 7,600 jobs added. Statistics Canada described the gain as “the first notable increase since March 2015” for the sector on the national level.

But compared with October 2015, the number of jobs in the sector in Alberta is down by four per cent. Unemployment also held steady at 8.5 per cent.

Nationally, unemployment held steady at seven per cent while the economy gained 44,000 new jobs. However, most of the gains were part-time positions.

The unemployment rate held steady at seven per cent as more people entered the labour market.

vmcdermott@postmedia.com

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