Nearly 15,000 jobs lost in Alberta in February
Alberta's unemployment rate increased to 6.9 per cent in February, up from 6.6 per cent the month before, according to numbers released Friday by Statistics Canada.
Alberta was the only province in Canada to record a "notable employment loss" in February with a loss of 14,300 full-time and 600 part-time jobs, the national agency said, which marks the second month of job losses in a row.
Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta's minister of employment and immgration, said the province's numbers are skewed due to population growth.
"Alberta still is doing well compared to other provinces," he said. "So we are still attracting workers looking for work in Alberta. So as the job market may be going up and down a little, we are still attracting people looking for work which translates into higher unemployment rates."
In Alberta, there were gains in the manufacturing and forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas sectors, which recorded increases of 10,500 and 6,600 jobs respectively. Most of the losses occurred in educational services, wholesale and retail trade and agriculture.
The three-month moving average unemployment rate for February was 7.1 percent for Calgary and 6.8 per cent for Edmonton.
Nationally, the picture was much brighter. Canada gained an additional 60,000 full-time jobs in February, which helped put the unemployment rate at 8.2 per cent, the lowest since April 2009.