Alberta’s unemployment rate remained stable despite losing 14,000 full-time jobs in July — the largest decline in the country last month — said a labour report from Statistics Canada on Friday.
Unemployment increased by 0.4 per cent to 7 per cent, with jobs decreasing by 0.6 per cent to 2,344,000 in the province. Employment in the province has “little changed” since July 2018.
“Employment decreased notably in accommodation and food services as well as in natural resources,” the report said.
In comparison, Canada’s unemployment rate increased slightly last month to 5.7 per cent. The country’s labour force had seen steady growth in the previous year and began to plateau in May 2019, growing slightly by 11,200 individuals in July.
Economist Cory Renner with the Conference board of Canada said the decline should be “taken in context of Canada’s phenomenal labour market performance over the past 7 months.”
“Even still, two straight month of jobs declines suggests Canada’s labour force is losing some steam,” he said in a news release Friday, adding that year-over-year wage growth rose to a ten-year high at 4.5 per cent since July 18.
Since July 2018, employment in the country is up by 1.9 per cent or 353,000 largely full-time jobs, but across Canada employment in the natural resources sector is down 4.5 per cent since last year.
Most of the 8,700 jobs lost in the natural resources sector across Canada in July were in Alberta.
However, employment grew in the construction sector in Alberta and Quebec, totalling a 25,000-position increase across Canada.
“Overall, Canada’s labour market performance was poor in July but this should be taken in context,” reads the release. “Job growth so far this year has been amazing, and the unemployment rate remains at near record lows.”