The unemployment rate continues to decline in the Red Deer region. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The unemployment rate continues to decline in the Red Deer region. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Unemployment rate continues to slide in Red Deer region

Fewer unemployed in Alberta in April

The Red Deer region’s unadjusted unemployment rate continues its downward trend, dropping to 6.7 per cent last month from 6.9 in March.

The region started out the year with unemployment at 7.0 per cent, and was at 10.6 per cent in April 2021.

According to Statistics Canada, the Edmonton region had the highest unemployment at 7.2 per cent last month, and the region of Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House, Athabasca-Grande Prairie and Peace River had the lowest unemployment at 4.7 per cent.

The Calgary region’s rate was at 7.1 per cent. Both Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake and Camrose-Drumheller were at 5.6.

Scott Robinson, Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce CEO, said it will be interesting to see if the trend continues over the next few months.

“I would think it would. I believe our biggest challenge will be having enough people to work in certain sectors of the economy,” Robinson said.

He said early on in the pandemic hotels dropped to their lowest ever staff levels, and now visitors are starting to fill hotels again for events and meetings and staff are needed.

“We’re still very much agriculture, manufacturing, oil industry, service industry, construction-based economy here. As some of those things are starting to pick back up now, that’s what’s going to push that unemployment rate down.”

Related:

April jobless rate drops to another new low as economy adds 15K jobs: StatCan

Alberta’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.6 per cent to 5.9 per cent in April. The national unemployment rate was at 5.2, a drop of 0.1 per cent from March.

Statistics Canada reported that despite the provincial rate dropping Calgary and Edmonton were among the census metropolitan areas with the highest unemployment rates when looking at three-month moving averages.

Across the country, increases in employment in professional, scientific and technical services and public administration were offset by declines in construction and retail trade. The unemployment rate for people aged 25 to 54 fell 0.2 percentage points to 4.3 per cent, the lowest recorded rate since comparable data became available in 1976.

Related:

Modest improvement in Red Deer region’s unemployment rate

Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer said April’s job numbers reflect the ongoing positive momentum in Alberta’s economy.

“Alberta gained 16,000 new jobs in April and nearly 40,000 jobs since the start of the year. This marks the sixth straight month of job gains in our province,” Schweitzer said in a statement.

“April’s 5.9 per cent unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since 2015.”

He said there was a record start to 2022 in venture capital with investments in companies like Neo Financial, Athenian and Helcim, and major announcements from Rogers, Walmart and De Havilland. Thousands of jobs are being created to help diversify the economy.

Alberta’s NDP said Alberta’s unemployment rate remains above the national rate and wages aren’t keeping pace with inflation. Albertans are finding it difficult to afford basic necessities and half are just $200 from not meeting all of their financial obligations at the end of the month – that’s the highest level in Canada.

“Meanwhile, the UCP is piling on extra costs. Income taxes, property taxes, tuition, auto insurance, and utilities have all gone up as a result of the UCP,” said NDP Energy Critic Kathleen Ganley in a statement.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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