Alberta unemployment falls by a full percentage point to 6.3% — the largest drop in more than a decade

Alberta's unemployment rate fell by a full percentage point in November to 6.3 per cent as employment in Alberta grew by 24,000 jobs compared to October.

Sudden upswing in employment sees gain of 24,000 jobs, reversing several previous months of losses

Alberta's economy added about 24,000 new jobs from October to November of this year, Statistics Canada says. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

Alberta's unemployment rate fell by a full percentage point in November to 6.3 per cent, Statistics Canada said on Friday — the largest decrease in more than a decade.

The agency's Labour Force Survey reported that employment in Alberta grew by 24,000 jobs, compared to October.

From November 2017 to November 2018, the workforce swelled by 59,000 jobs.

In Calgary, specifically, the unemployment rate dipped three-tenths of a point from 8.2 per cent to 7.9 per cent from October to November of this year, Statistics Canada reported.

The rate in Edmonton was steadier from October to November of this year, dropping from 6.3 per cent to 6.2 per cent.

Sean Coakley, a market analyst with Cambridge Global Payments, says it's possible business leaders in Calgary are seeing reasons to feel more bullish about Alberta's economic outlook than recent headlines would suggest.

"It's impressive. We're not actually able to collect data in terms of business investment. But there is a chance, given the geographic nature of Calgary being the headquarters of corporate Alberta, that corporate organizations in Alberta are actually continuing to invest or increase their payrolls because they have a different expectation about the economic future than many market forecasters do," he said.

Overall, 95,000 new jobs were added across the country. That pushed Canada's unemployment rate down to 5.6 per cent — its lowest level since Statistics Canada started collecting this data more than 40 years ago.

Employment rose in six provinces and was led by the gains in Quebec and Alberta.

The sudden decline in Alberta reverses several months of increasing unemployment in the province. The rate now stands at the second-lowest point it's been in the past several years.

Out of the roughly 24,000 jobs added in Alberta from October to November this year, more than 10,000 were in the goods-producing sector, which includes the natural resources sector. However, only about 900 jobs were added in that sector.

The manufacturing sector added 4,300 jobs; there were 2,300 new agriculture jobs; there were 1,800 new jobs in utilities; and there were 1,300 new jobs in construction.

Growth in the service sector accounted for 13,200 new jobs, including 8,200 in health care and social assistance.

However, the wholesale and retail segment shed 4,100 jobs.

With files from The Canadian Press