Alberta gains 12,000 full-time jobs as unemployment rate dips to 7.8%

Alberta added thousands more jobs in October and unemployment ticked slightly downward — but the province still hasn't fully rebounded to what it was in 2014 just before the oil-related downturn, Statistics Canada says.

Rates also fell in Edmonton and Calgary but remain higher than the province as a whole

Statistics Canada says Alberta's job picture improved slightly in October but the unemployment rate remains well above the pre-oil-crash level. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Alberta added thousands more jobs in October, according to the latest monthly estimate from Statistics Canada, and the unemployment rate ticked slightly downward. 

"Employment rose by 12,000 in Alberta, all in full-time work," the agency said Friday in a release.

That pushed the unemployment rate to 7.8 per cent, down from 7.9 per cent in September and 8.6 per cent at this time last year.

In Alberta's largest cities, the unemployment rate also came down in October, but it remains above the provincewide rate and well above the national average.

Calgary's unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 8.3 per cent, while Edmonton's dipped 0.3 percentage points to 8.2 per cent.

The city-specific unemployment rates are based on a three-month rolling average.

All of the employment data comes from Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey, which estimates the number of people working full-time, part-time and looking for work.

Most provinces saw job growth in October, except for British Columbia (-6,100), Saskatchewan (-4,000) and Prince Edward Island (-500.)

As Alberta's economy has returned to growth, the unemployment rate has been trending downward, but it remains well above pre-recession levels.

"The unemployment rate in Alberta has not fully rebounded to what it was in the fall of 2014, just prior to the oil-related downturn," Statistics Canada said.

Back in November 2014, the province's unemployment rate was 4.4 per cent.

It hit a high of nine per cent two years later.