Calgary’s unemployment rate has now hit double digits.
Statistics Canada says the city’s jobless rate rose from 9.5 to 10.2 per cent in October, easily the highest rate of any of the major cities in Canada.
ATB Financial’s Todd Hirsch tells News Talk 770 it’s not that we’re seeing many more layoffs in the oil and gas sector.
“Mostly that has ended. Now instead we’re seeing households trying to cobble together income, looking for part-time work, more people pounding the pavement. What you’re seeing is a big increase in the labour force in Calgary. Despite the tough economy a lot of people have still moved to Calgary or they’re starting once again to look for work in Calgary.”
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Unemployment in Edmonton meanwhile is falling. It went from 7.7 to 6.9 per cent.
“Edmonton’s relatively more diversified economy is helping them out. We did see in October a pretty strong gain in public sector jobs, and Edmonton has more of those jobs than Calgary does.”
But while Calgary’s workforce continues to grow, Edmonton appears to be shrinking, says Hirsch.
“As Calgary was adding workers into the labour force, we saw a big drop in the labour force in Edmonton. In other words I think people may be moving out of Edmonton, maybe those kind of workers returning back to other provinces. So Edmonton’s labour market reacting very different to Calgary’s. ”
Nationally, Stats Can is reporting a net gain of 44,000 new jobs, but the increase was entirely due to part-time hiring.
The national unemployment rate held steady at 7.0 per cent as more people were looking for work.
Overall there was a gain of 67,000 part-time jobs, while the number of full-time jobs fell by 23,000.
The agency is also reporting that Canada’s trade deficit hit a record $4.1 billion in September. Imports rose 4.7 per cent to a record $47.6 billion, while exports climbed 0.1 per cent to $43.5 billion.