August 11th, 2020

Lethbridge-Medicine Hat unemployment rate climbed to 9.8% in June

By Medicine Hat News on July 11, 2020.

Alberta clawed back 90,000 jobs in June as coronavirus restrictions were eased across the province, but the unemployment has remained the same – more than double last year’s rate – as more people such as students entered the workforce, new figures show.

Statistics Canada’s release of last month’s job numbers on Friday also show rural southern Alberta’s rate remained the lowest in the province and rose much less than other areas.

The Lethbridge-Medicine Hat region saw an increase to 9.8 per cent in June, almost one percentage point higher than May, but up sharply from 6.2 per cent recorded in June 2019.

Provincially the rate remained even month-to-month at 15.5 per cent, but 2.5 times higher than the 6.6 per cent from 12 months earlier.

Statistics Canada says 953,000 jobs were added across Canada last month, including 488,000 full-time and 465,000 part-time positions.

The unemployment rate fell to 12.3 per cent in June after hitting a record-high of 13.7 per cent in May.

Alberta’s rate is the second highest of any province behind Newfoundland and Labrador (16.5 per cent). New Brunswick has the lowest at 9.9 per cent, while sat at Saskatchewan 11.6 per cent.

The number of employed Albertans rose to about 2.09 million, up 91,000, but the labour force grew by 110,000.

Overall there were 17,400 more unemployed workers in June than in May, for a current total of 382,500.

Every economic region in Alberta saw a monthly increase in the jobless rate, led by Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray), which rose 2.7 points to sit at 11.6 per cent. Northwestern Alberta sat at 16.5 per cent, while Calgary and Edmonton saw increases to 15 and 15.8 per cent, respectively.

Most new jobs in Alberta were in the service sector as general trade, accommodation, social services and recreation sub-sectors saw increases.

The good processing sector saw a 2 per cent increase in jobs, or about 9,000, though increases in construction were offset by fewer jobs in manufacturing.

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