June 18th, 2024

Regional jobless rate ticks up month to month, but still low

By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on February 16, 2023.

A worker hangs a sign on a business in downtown Medicine Hat in this undated file photo. Unemployment rates in the region ticked up in January but remains well below the provincial average.--NEWS FILE PHOTO


Regional unemployment rose in January compared extremely low rates in late 2022, but still sits well below levels seen one year ago, according to analysis by the Alberta Jobs Ministry.

Jobless numbers released Feb. 10 by Statistics Canada show Alberta adding 20,700 jobs during January to keep the month-to-month rate steady at 5.8 per cent.

A total of 99,400 jobs were added in the province since January 2022.

The national unemployment rate was 5.0 per cent after 150,000 positions were added across the country.

The Lethbridge-Medicine Hat economic region posted a rate of 3.7 per cent in January, up from 2.8 per cent in December, but lower than the 7.2 per cent posted in January 2022.

Unemployment was lower, year over year, in every economic region in Alberta with the exception of Red Deer, now at 7.5 per cent, the highest in the province.

Camrose-Drumheller fell to a province-wide low of 3 per cent, followed by Medicine Hat, then Wood-Buffalo (4.9 per cent).

Among employment gains across the province last month, nearly 30,000 jobs were created in the private sector, 6,500 in the public sector, while the number of “self-employed” positions fell by 15,800.

Overall, two-thirds of the difference was recorded in the goods producing sectors.

The average hourly wage in the province was 2.4 per cent higher in January at $34.04.

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