Despite all the talk about layoffs in the oil patch due to slumping oil prices, both Alberta and the Calgary area saw increases in jobs in April.
According to Statistics Canada, overall hiring is at a three-month high. However, this is not surprising given the collapse in oil prices, the province’s natural resources sector which lost about 3,500 positions in April.
Statistics Canada reported that Alberta employment was up by 12,500, or 0.5 per cent, from March. The gains came from part-time employment, which was up 20,100 month-over-month. Employment was up by 53,300 jobs, or 2.4 per cent, from a year ago. The province’s unemployment rate remained the same at 5.5 per cent.
In the Calgary area, employment was up by 0.8 per cent, or 6,300 jobs, from the previous month and by 4.6 per cent, or 36,600 positions, from a year ago. Calgary’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.3 per cent from 5.2 per cent in March.
Across Canada, the federal agency said employment was down 0.1 per cent with a loss of 19,700 jobs. However, year-over-year it was up by 0.8 per cent, or 139,100 positions.
As per Mercer’s 2014 Cost of Living Survey, Calgary was ranked the fourth most expensive city to live in, falling behind Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Canadian cities have overall seen a significant drop in this year’s survey ranking compared to other places worldwide. This can be attributed to the weakened Canadian dollar and slower pace of price increases compared with New York, which is the survey’s base city.
Since last year Vancouver fell 32 places and is ranked at 96, while Toronto stood at 101, down by 32 places. Montreal was ranked 123, a fall of 28 spots, while Calgary dropped to rank 125.
The Mercer’s annual survey ranks the most expensive cities around the world for expatriates. It measures comparative costs of about 200 items in each location, including food, housing, clothing, transportation, household goods, and entertainment.
As per the survey results, the most expensive city in the world is Luanda in Angola, followed by N’Djamena in Chad.
Hong Kong ranked third, followed by Singapore. Zurich was up three places to rank fifth, followed by Geneva as sixth. Tokyo dropped four places to rank seventh.
“Rankings in many regions were affected by recent world events, including economic and political upheavals, which resulted in currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices,” said Ed Hannibal, a partner for Mercer’s mobility practice.
“While Luanda and N’Djamena are relatively inexpensive cities, they are quite costly for expatriates since imported goods come at a premium. In addition, finding secure living accommodations that meet the standards of expatriates can be challenging and quite costly as well.”
Bern, Shanghai and Moscow also featured in the top 10 list of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates. In the Middle East, Tel Aviv continues to be the most expensive for expatriates, followed by Beirut, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The world’s least expensive city for expatriates is Karachi in Pakistan.
In the United States, cities have generally climbed the chart because of the relative stability of the US dollar against other major currencies.
New York was up by eight places to rank 16. The jump was due to a rise in the rental accommodation.
Sao Paolo ranked as the costliest city in South America, followed by Rio de Janeiro.
Source: Calgary Herald