Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Economy | By

Prince George unemployment rate sees slight rise in January

Prince George unemployment rate sees slight rise in January

But as more people entered the workforce last month the province's unemployment rate edged up 0.3 percentage points to 4.7 per cent between December and January, according released Friday (Feb. 8) from Statistics Canada.

In the Calgary census metropolitan area, the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 per cent from 7.5 per cent the previous month. Part-time job gains outpaced full-time, 36,000 positions versus 30,900, respectively, and youth aged 15 to 24 led employment growth, adding 52,800 jobs.

In a note to clients Friday, CIBC Chief Economist Royce Mendes wrote the latest job readings were "a auto stuck on one of Canada's clogged highways: speeding up then slowing down just to speed back up again".

He said it's also important to consider that growth in Canada's population and labour force has accelerated, thanks in large part to immigration.

The region finished 2018 with a 4.7% unemployment rate in December, when 40,300 were employed.

The unemployment rate has seen an overall decrease since last January, dropping 0.7 per cent. He added that he used the word "supposedly" because monthly job numbers tend to bounce around a little bit.

He credited recent job gains drawing people back in as for why the participation rate is running at its highest level since 2017.

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. saw an increase in January. Many analysts expect governor Stephen Poloz to wait until much later in 2019 before making a move.

"On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees rose by 293,000 (+2.5 per cent), while the number of public sector employees grew by 62,000 (+1.7 per cent)".

Energy-rich Alberta, hit hard by the oil-price decline, shed jobs for a second-straight month and saw its jobless rate rise to 6.8 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent.

"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote.

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