Alberta job growth leads Canada
Unemployment in province steady at 4.9%
Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Alberta+growth+leads+Canada/6101877/story.html#ixzz1lVg5tut4
Alberta had the highest rate of employment growth in Canada in the past year.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that the province's unemployment rate remained at 4.9 per cent in January, which was the lowest in the country, and Alberta's pace of employment growth was 3.9 per cent from January 2011, creating 79,500 jobs.
"I'm finding the job search is taking less time than it would normally take. A lot of my clients are finding work much quicker," said Eileen Dooley, career coach and team lead at Cam McRae Consulting, an outplacement and career coaching agency in Calgary. "Usually a job search can take anywhere from three to six, eight months. Averaging about two, I'm seeing now. Definitely a good time.
"So many companies are hiring. And they're hiring like hundreds and some thousands over the next couple of years in all different areas. It's not just technical. It's not just en-gineering. It's administrative. It's everywhere. So this is a really good time to look for work. It's a really good time if you're not happy with your job. If you're thinking of moving to something else, now is a good time to do it."
The unemployment rate in the Calgary census metropolitan area has dipped from 5.9 per cent in January 2011 to 5.0 per cent in January 2012. Employment growth of 4.9 per cent in the region has created 34,400 more jobs than a year ago.
Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 per cent in January from 7.5 per cent the month before. Employment was virtually unchanged in January across Canada rising by 129,000 or 0.7 per cent from the year before.
"While other regions are simply treading water, Alberta seems to be hanging on to its hiring momentum. We expect this trend to continue throughout 2012," said TD Economics.
Nationally, employment was flat on a monthly basis with only 2,300 jobs created.
Will van't Veld, economist with ATB Financial, said things have been holding steady in Alberta. "At between 4.5 per cent and five per cent unemployment the balance of power isn't really with either the employer or potential employee," he said. "It's mostly neutral. This is a drastic improvement over this time last year when the rate was near six per cent."
According to the Alberta government, the province's employment growth has accounted for 61.6 per cent of Canada's employment growth in the past 12 months.
The following industries had the most employment increases in January from the previous month in Alberta: health care and social assistance, 8,700; forestry, fishing, mining and oil and gas, 5,200; and utilities, 4,500.
Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, said that at a national level the employment report reinforces the point that Canada's job creation engine is cooling markedly.
"There is no one single factor to explain the softening trend, although the sustained decline in finance, insurance and real estate is particularly notable. Previously strong sectors, such as construction and public administration, are also fading. With domestic drivers now gearing down, the job market needs the U.S. economy to gather some serious momentum to keep the recovery on track," he said.
mtoneguzzi @ calgaryherald.com