Edmonton jobs jump, Calgary jobs slump

Edmonton added 5,900 positions from May. Calgary, on the other hand, saw losses of 4,600 jobs

Mario ToneguzziThe labour picture in Alberta’s two biggest cities showed contrasting directions in June, according to ATB Financial’s Economics and Research Team.

In a report filed Friday, ATB said Edmonton added 5,900 positions from May and the unemployment rate ticked a 10th of a percentage point higher to 6.6 per cent. Calgary, on the other hand, saw losses of 4,600 jobs while its unemployment rate held steady at 7.7 per cent.

Across the province, there was 2,000 new jobs created, adding to the nearly 3,000 positions created in May.

“That’s modest growth, to be sure, but it continues to suggest that Alberta’s economy is moving in the right direction,” said ATB.

“Overall, today’s jobs report is a continuation of the story that has marked the post-recession recovery: slow but steady. The pace of expansion has been frustrating for thousands of Albertans still looking for work, but there’s no denying the province’s economy continues to evolve and improve.”

ATB said the jobs added last month were entirely part-time (+2,800), partially offset by a small loss of full-time positions (-900).

“A longer term perspective always provides a better view and, in that respect, Alberta’s job market is showing improvements. Over the last 12 months, full-time jobs (+48,900) have vastly outpaced part-time jobs, which are actually down (-15,300),” it said.

“Compared to a year ago, job creation has been particularly strong in construction (+16,500), natural resources (+13,300) and professional, scientific and technical services (+7,400) — all sectors hit hard by the recession two years ago. The job market continues to struggle in health care and social assistance (-9,600), food and accommodation (-7,100), and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (-3,300).”

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

Edmonton CalgaryThe views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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