Alberta adds 3,800 new jobs, unemployment rises to 7.3 per cent.
Alberta saw relatively stagnant job numbers in February, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.
Overall about 3,800 new jobs were created, factoring in public, private and self-employed workers.
The public sector had a boost of 11,500 new jobs, while the private sector saw a dip of 7,000 compared to January.
The unemployment rate rose to 7.3 per cent, marking an increase of 0.5 per cent from last month.
“Obviously we’re discouraged when that happens,” said Premier Rachel Notley at a news conference Friday, adding that there was a modest increase in jobs month-over-month. “We’re continuing to attract workers from across the country to Alberta and as a result there’s a net bump in the unemployment rate.”
The report follows two months of declining jobs with 16,000 and 17,000 fewer people working in January and and December respectively.
The picture is better nationally.
Across Canada there were nearly 56,000 jobs added in February, with the bulk created in Ontario. The number of people searching for work held steady with an unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent.
The UCP slammed the province for the latest job numbers.
“With more Albertans unemployed and the unemployment rate climbing higher yet again, it’s clear that the NDP plan simply isn’t working for Alberta,” said UCP MLA Ric McIver in a statement.
Calgary’s unemployment rate is reported at 7.6 per cent compared to Edmonton at 7 per cent.
University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe told Postmedia last month the hardest hit demographic has been young men between the ages of 15 and 24 due to jobs lost during the recession that haven’t returned.