Canada as a Whole Loses Jobs, Alberta Bucks Trend

Posted by Alan Zunec on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 at 10:49am.

The unemployment rate in Canada edged up a bit, from 7.3 to 7.4 percent in November, with a net loss of 19,000 jobs. Alberta was that exception, with its unemployment rate going from 5.1 down to 5.0. That province had a net gain of almost 3,000 jobs.

Not surprisingly, many of those jobs were in the oil and gas industry, already doing well. Other fields included construction, technical and scientific sectors. Things always get busier in the gas and oil industry in the winter. This is the time of year when the ground freezes, making it easier to transport heavy equipment into remote areas.

Edmonton was the leader in job creation. In the year between October of 2010 and October of 2011, the city had a net gain of 45,000 jobs, the most of any metro area in Canada. Even so, with the good news out of Alberta, Statistics Canada was not quite so optimistic.

Robert Kavcic, an economist with BMO Capital Markets, noted that since the middle of 2011, the country has lost about 2,000 jobs per month. He concedes that some of the November job numbers, like those in Alberta, are encouraging. Kavcic also noted the increase in full time jobs as opposed to part time positions. But the man sees a softening in the economy, after a particularly robust third quarter.

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