ATB Financial’s Economics & Research Team December 9, 2019

Unemployment up in November

The latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada shows Alberta’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate jumped half a percentage point over the course of a month, going from 6.7 per cent in October to 7.2 per cent in November. This translates into an increase of 12,900, bringing the total number of unemployed Albertans to 182,500.

On a year-over-year basis, the unemployment rate is up by a full percentage point compared to November 2018 when it was 6.2 per cent, meaning there were 25,700 more unemployed Albertans in November 2019 than a year earlier. The provincial unemployment rate over the first 11 months of the year has averaged 6.9 per cent.

Looking at the number of jobs, there was a loss of 18,200 positions between October and November, representing a drop of 0.8 per cent. Coincidentally, the year-over-year numbers are off by the same amounts (18,200 jobs and 0.8 per cent).

Both full-time and part-time employment took a hit in November with full-time positions down by 0.7 per cent and part-time positions off by 1.0 per cent. Compared to November 2018, the number of full-time jobs was down 1.6 per cent (31,600) while part-time jobs saw an increase of 3.3 per cent (13,400).

The national unemployment rate increased from 5.5 per cent in October to 5.9 per cent in November with the number of jobs contracting by 71,200 or 0.4 per cent. The year-over-year numbers were still positive, though, with the number of jobs up by 292,900 or 1.6 per cent.