The unemployment rate in Calgary topped 10 per cent last month — the highest it has been since the city was mired in a recession in the early 1990s. 

The jobless rate in Calgary rose from 9.5 per cent in September to 10.2 per cent in October, the Statistics Canada labour force survey shows.

Not since November 1993 has the unemployment rate been so high, said University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe.

Calgary's rate is also the highest of any major city in Canada. 

In Edmonton, where the unemployment rate peaked at eight per cent in August, the figures have been heading down, reaching 7.7 per cent in September and 6.9 per cent in October.

There were about 10,000 new jobs last month in the natural resources sector, mostly in Alberta, where the provincial unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.5 per cent, Statistics Canada said.

Nationally, the economy added about 44,000 new jobs in October, but the jobless rate stayed at seven per cent because more people were also looking for work.

Most of the jobs were in Ontario and British Columbia, which added 25,000 and 15,000 new jobs, respectively.

Most other provinces were largely unchanged.

The big gap between the jobless rates in Calgary and Edmonton reflects how differently the drop-off in investment and activity in the resource sector has affected the two cities, says Tombe.

"And so that's meant that a lot of the job losses in the sector have been in what we call support activities rather than the jobs associated with operating and producing the extraction facilities," he said.

"And so most of those jobs are kind of head office jobs that are located here in Calgary.  And that's one of the key reasons Calgary has fared worse in this recession than Edmonton."