The December edition of the Conference Board of Canada’s Help-Wanted Index showed Alberta recording its fifth consecutive gain with an increase of 3.5 points. It also revealed the national index registering an increase of five points. The increases indicate better days ahead for those seeking employment in Alberta as well as across the country.
The Index, based on the seasonally adjusted number of new and unique jobs posted online during the month across 79 Canadian job-posting websites, also showed stable prospects for Calgary.
The results on the December Help-Wanted Index showed that near-term job prospects were either positive or stable for most Canadian census metropolitan areas. For 17 CMAs, the employment prospects were positive. Eight CMAs had stable prospects while only two CMAs (Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo and Edmonton) faced negative prospects, according to the Index.
In December, Alberta had the second lowest unemployment rate in the country (4.8 percent) after Saskatchewan (3.9 percent). At a nationwide level, the unemployment rate stood at 7.2 percent. Alberta also recorded the fastest year-over-year growth in employment at 3.3 percent. Additionally, Alberta also accounted for 69.3 percent of Canada’s employment growth in the past year.
Another measure of Alberta’s employment saga came courtesy Statistics Canada. Recent data revealed that more Albertans stayed attached to the workforce for longer. Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, said that the participation rate estimated the percentage of people aged 15 years and over, looking for work or currently having employment.
The participation rate, calculated by the federal agency’s Labour Force Survey each month, for people aged 55 years and over in Alberta was 47 percent. This was nearly 10 percentage points higher than the national rate (37.4 percent). The participation rate for the entire population aged 15 years and over in Alberta was 72.9 percent, which was 6.5 percentage points higher than the national rate (66.4 percent).
While various reasons abound for the higher participation rate of mature workers in Alberta – ranging from good employment opportunities to higher living expenses that lead to postponed retirements, for the moment, jobseekers in Alberta have more than enough reason to cheer.
Source: Calgary Herald