Red Deer Region's unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent in August, up from 5.7 per cent in July. (Black Press file photo)

Red Deer region unemployment up sharply in August

Unemployment at 6.7 per cent compared with 5.7 per cent in July

Red Deer region’s August unemployment rate in August was 6.7 per cent, the highest among the province’s seven economic regions and the provincial average.

Alberta-wide, unemployment fell for the second month in a row to 5.7 per cent, down from 6.1 per cent in July.

Among Alberta’s economic regions, Camrose-Drumheller had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.7 per cent, followed by Calgary and Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake, which were both at six per cent. Edmonton was at 6.1 per cent, Lethbridge-Medicine Hat 6.2 per cent and Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River at 6.3 per cent.

Red Deer region’s unemployment is up sharply from a year ago when it was 4.4 per cent. The numbers are seasonally unadjusted three-month moving averages.

Alberta Jobs, Economy and Trade Minister Matt Jones said in a statement Friday that the August numbers “tell an exciting economic story.

“In August, 17,700 additional Albertans found employment, with an increase of 99,100 employed Albertans since August of last year. The unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent while the number of full-time jobs is 2.1 million and full-time employment fuels job growth across sectors.”

“The programs and policies Alberta’s government have created mean businesses keep growing and major companies like Coca-Cola, Teknol and Flair Airlines are choosing to invest here, creating exciting job opportunities for Albertans in a range of sectors. Strong employment means more families can count on regular pay cheques.

“Our efforts to make life more affordable are working. Alberta’s inflation rate has generally been below the national average – while average weekly earnings are seven per cent higher than the national average.

“Long term, the employment trends are favourable too. In the last 12 months, Alberta’s employment has grown by 4.1 per cent, above the national average of 2.5 per cent.”

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