The City of Red Deer’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in July, but total employment did fall.
Red Deer’s unemployment rate was 10.2 per cent in July, which was the same as June. In July 2020, the unemployment rate was 4.2 percentage points higher than it was this past month.
Total employment in the city did drop by 900 this past month. In July, there were 111,400 jobs and in June there were 112,300. The city’s participation rate went from 71.1 per cent in June to 70.5 per cent in July.
Meanwhile, Alberta gained more jobs with the removal of most pandemic-related public health restrictions on July 1, according to ATB Financial.
The latest data from Statistics Canada shows the number of seasonally adjusted jobs in the province increased by 12,300 for a monthly growth rate of 0.6 per cent.
Full-time jobs went up by 1.1 per cent (20,100) while part-time jobs went down by 1.8 per cent (7,800).
Industries that had the most employment gains in July from the previous month were transportation, warehousing, information, culture, recreation, finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.
Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer said Alberta’s recovery plan is working.
“The first half of 2021 was challenging for many Albertans. We are optimistic for the rest of the year and we are incredibly grateful to all of the business owners that made sacrifices throughout the pandemic,” Schweitzer said in a statement.
He said part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan is the largest-ever infrastructure build in Alberta through the $20.3-billion capital plan. That alone is expected to support 90,000 jobs for Albertans.
“Alberta’s Recovery Plan is also opening the door for new investments in hydrogen, tech and innovation, renewables, film and television, and so much more that is driving diversification of our economy and job creation.
“Alberta is seeing more than 9,000 new jobs from close to $1 billion in new investment from the film and television industry – including from HBO’s The Last of Us, the largest television series production in Canadian history.”
He said another part of the recovery plan is the Jobs Now program to strengthen the workforce with new training and skills to put 22,000 Albertans back to work.
July’s job growth, combined with fewer people participating in the labour market, pushed the unemployment rate down to 8.5 per cent in Alberta compared to 9.3 per cent in June. Although still high, this is the lowest it has been since before the pandemic, said ATB Financial.
Compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark of February 2020, employment Alberta was down by 1.6 per cent or 35,400 jobs.
Nationally, employment rose by 0.5 per cent (94,000) in July and the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 7.5 per cent. Employment was 1.3 per cent (246,000) below the February 2020 level.