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Red Deer’s jobless rate slips to 11.1% in October

Red Deer’s unemployment rate dropped by a percentage point in October.

According to the Alberta Labour Force’s monthly statistics, the city’s jobless rate this past month was 11.1 per cent. It was 12.1 per cent in September.

The unemployment rate in Red Deer was 7.3 per cent in October 2019.

“Honestly, I am pleasantly surprised at the reduced number,” said Rick More, Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce CEO.

“This trend happened in Alberta as well, although nationally, we are still high in comparison.

“As we battle forward, it even puts more onus on the responsibility of each individual in this city to help maintain our business openings and gain some momentum prior to the Christmas season.”

Elsewhere in the province, the jobless rate ranged from a low of 8.7 per cent in Lethbridge-Medicine Hat, and a high of 12.6 per cent in Camrose-Drumheller.

Alberta’s unemployment rate this past October was 10.7 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. This is a full percentage point lower than September, when the unemployment rate was 11.7 per cent.

In October 2019, Alberta’s unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent.

Doug Schweitzer, Alberta’s minister of jobs, economy and innovation, said there is still work to be done, but Alberta is on the path to recovery.

“With five consecutive months of growth, the addition of 23,400 jobs in October means that our province has now recovered 258,400 jobs that were lost during the pandemic. The majority of these jobs were full time,” said Schweitzer.

“Alberta’s unemployment rate has fallen four months in a row, dropped by a full percentage point in October, and is down almost five per cent from its peak.

“Alberta’s recovery plan is a bold vision to create jobs, diversify our economy, and build a better future for our province.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 8.9 per cent in October, compared to nine per cent the month prior. The unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent in October 2019.

Nearly a quarter of Canada’s unemployed have been without work for six months or more, with Statistics Canada reporting a spike in their numbers in October, even as the economy eked out another month of overall job growth.

Nearly 450,000 Canadians were considered long-term unemployed last month, meaning they had been without a job for 27 weeks or more, with their ranks swelling by 79,000 in September and then 151,000 more in October.

The long-term unemployed now make up 24.8 per cent of Canada’s unemployed, who numbered 1.8 million in October, as the wave of short-term layoffs in March and April rippled into the fall.

The jumps in September and October are the sharpest over more than 40 years of comparable data, and have pushed long-term unemployment beyond what it was just over a decade ago during the global financial crisis.

–With files from The Canadian Press

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