Red Deer Region’s rate of unemployment highest in Alberta

Red Deer Region’s unemployment rate has hit double digits.

Red Deer Region’s unemployment rate has hit double digits.

Provincial labour force statistics for July released on Friday show unemployment in Red Deer Region has hit a once-unthinkable 10 per cent. That’s up from 7.3 per cent for the same month last year and more than three times higher than the 2.9 per cent registered in July 2014.

It’s the highest unemployment rate among the six regions reporting (no statistics were available for Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake) and above the provincial average of 8.6 per cent.

A year ago, Red Deer Region’s unemployment rate was 7.3 per cent, but has been climbing steadily as low oil prices continue to batter the provincial economy. Last month, the region’s unemployment was 9.3 per cent.

The provincial unemployment rate climbed from 7.9 per cent in June and is up sharply from 6.2 per cent a year ago.

From June to July, full-time employment decreased by 10,600 jobs, says the province. The number of part-time jobs increased by 9,100.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent, up from 6.8 per cent a month earlier and a year ago.

Alberta’s unemployment rate is the fourth highest among provinces. Newfoundland is the highest at 12.7 per cent followed by New Brunswick (9.7) and Prince Edward Island (9.6). B.C. has the lowest unemployment rate at 5.6 per cent.

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