The new unemployment numbers are out from Statistics Canada and it’s good news for Alberta where 20,700 jobs were created in March.
All of the new jobs were full-time positions in a province where employment has been on an upward trend since last fall.
However, the province’s unemployment rate climbed slightly from 8.3 to 8.4 per cent because more people were out looking for work. Still, that’s down from the recent high of nine per cent back in November.
Finance Minister Joe Ceci said their are positive indicators conditions are improving for those looking for work.
“It looks like we’re starting to turn the corner,” he said. “We’re starting to turn the corner and see green shoots across the economy; we’re starting to see more and more people either start their own businesses, or get called back to the businesses they were regrettably laid off from.”
Calgary’s unemployment rate declined once again in March but remained the highest in the country, according to Statistics Canada.
The jobless rate in the oil and gas hub dropped a tenth of a percentage point to 9.3 per cent last month.
March marked Calgary’s fourth straight month where the jobless rate dropped, but ninth consecutive month with Canada’s highest unemployment rate.
Ceci said jobs growth is good news in the face of what has been a dire situation for some families.
“You know, the significant downturn has been hard on families. But, we’ve got the back of Albertans. We’re making life better by providing those necessary income supports that people need at this time, when their EI regrettably runs out.”
Nationally, the labour market pumped out another 19,400 net jobs last month, and the vast majority of the new work was full-time.
However, Statistics Canada said the bulk of those new positions were self-employment, which can include people working for a family business without pay.
The agency said the country’s unemployment rate crept up in March to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent because more people were looking for work
The number of private-sector jobs rose 13,700 between February and March, while public-sector positions dropped by 12,700.
With files from The Canadian Press, Global News and John Himpe