Red Deer region's unemployment was unchanged in March at 7.7 per cent. (File photo by The Canadian Press)

Red Deer region March unemployment unchanged at 7.7%

Provincial unemployment creeps up but 14,000 jobs added

Red Deer region’s unemployment remained unchanged at 7.7 per cent in March.

That is the same as February but up from 6.9 per cent a year ago. Red Deer region’s unemployment was the highest among the province’s seven economic regions used by Statistics Canada.

Calgary was next at seven per cent followed by Edmonton at 6.2 per cent. Camrose-Drumheller was 5.4 per cent and Banff.Jasper-Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca, Grande Prairie and Peace River was at 5.3 per cent. Lethbridge-Medicine Hat was at 5.1 per cent and Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake had the lowest unemployment at 4.4 per cent.

In Alberta, employment rose by 14,000 — up 0.6 per cent — in March, the third increase in four months, and the unemployment rate fell 0.1 per cent to 5.7 per cent. In the 12 months to March 2023, employment in the province increased by 95,000 — up four per cent — driven by gains in full-time work.

The provincial unemployment rate last month was 5.7 per cent, down from 5.8 per cent a year earlier but up 0.3 per cent from February. Nationally, the unemployment fell to 5.4 per cent, up from 5.1 per cent in February but down from 6.1 per cent a year ago.

“Opportunities in our province continue to grow and more Albertans are finding good jobs and taking home regular pay cheques. It is very encouraging to see that even as more and more people choose Alberta, they are finding meaningful work,” said jobs, Economy and Norther Development Minister Brian Jean in a statement.

”In March, nearly 14,000 found work, including more than 10,000 in new full-time positions.

“We know that Alberta is a land of opportunity with a Renewed Alberta Advantage that is helping to attract investment, diversify our economy and create jobs. The policies our government has been relentlessly pursuing mean that job creators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers have a home here and can succeed.

“That is why nearly 500,000 more Albertans are working today than were working in May 2019.”

Jean also credited the province’s Alberta is Calling campaign for luring more workers to the province.

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