Western Alberta unemployment rate drops to 4.8 per cent

Economists had expected the addition of 5,000 jobs for the

Unemployment in the region was 6 per cent in January, Statistics Canada said on Friday, down from 6.2 per cent the month before.

In contrast, Alberta saw a second straight month of declines, down 16,000 positions, vaulting the unemployment rate to 6.8 per cent.

The statistics show that Camrose-Drumheller has the highest unemployment rate of all the economic regions in the province.

The Alberta rate rose from 6.4 per cent in December to 6.8 last month after almost 16,000 jobs were lost. That's a jump of 0.4 per cent from last month. Employment in the accommodations and food services sector grew by 5,600 jobs, and transport and warehousing employment grew by 6,400 jobs.

The unemployment rate in Montreal was 6.1 per cent in January 2018. There were 200 fewer jobs in January but from a year ago employment in the region was higher by 33,800 positions.

Locally, the number of people listed as employed has gone up from about 20,600 last year to an estimated 21,600 this year. The trend of more people entering the workforce and either working or looking for a job also continued, with the labour force increasing from 22,500 to 23,700.

In December of previous year, the unemployment rate was listed at 4.5%.

"In January, the number of employees increased by 112,000 in the private sector, while it was little changed in the public sector for the third consecutive month". At the same time, the number of self-employed declined by 61,000.

The Canadian economy pumped out 67,000 news jobs in January - smashing economists' forecasts calling for 5,000 new positions. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.

According to BC Stats, the province saw job gains in agriculture, up 1,100 jobs, and utilities, up 500 jobs.

"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote.

"Overall, it's been a good day for readings on the Canadian economy".

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