Jobless rate up in region

The unemployment rate in the Red Deer region edged up slightly last month, moving to 7.1 per cent from seven per cent in October.

The unemployment rate in the Red Deer region edged up slightly last month, moving to 7.1 per cent from seven per cent in October.

A year ago, the local jobless rate was 4.4 per cent.

Figures released by Statistics Canada on Friday revealed a mixed unemployment bag across the province.

In the area encompassing Banff, Rocky Mountain House and Jasper, the rate hit five per cent in November, up from 4.2 per cent the preceding month.

East-Central Alberta, including Camrose and Drumheller, had 6.2 per cent unemployment in November, unchanged from the month before. The Calgary region was up to 6.9 per cent from 6.8 per cent, the Edmonton region declined to 7.5 per cent from 7.8 per cent, and Southern Alberta, including Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, was at 5.5 per cent, down from 6.6 per cent in October.

In the northwestern part of the province, including Grande Prairie and Athabasca, the jobless figure for November was 8.5 per cent, down 0.6 percentage points from October. To the east, including the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, unemployment was at four per cent, a drop from 4.4 per cent in October.

Provincewide, the November unemployment rate was 7.4 per cent, with this figure adjusted to reflect seasonal fluctuations.

Last month, Alberta’s seasonally adjusted number was 7.5 per cent.

The only provinces with lower unemployment rates in November were Saskatchewan at 5.2 per cent and Manitoba at 5.3 per cent. The national average was 8.5 per cent, which was down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.

Statistics Canada calculated that Alberta’s labour force grew by 10,900 people from October to November, with the number of people employed jumping by 12,800 in November. That’s the biggest monthly increase since October 2008.

The greatest gains occurred in construction (5,000 people); accommodation and food services (2,900); business, building and other support services (2,900), professional, scientific and technical services (2,800), and manufacturing (2,300).

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