Significant Hike In Local Jobless Rate, Which Hits 6.2%: B93.3 FM : Lethbridge's #1 Hit Music Station : Lethbridge News, Alberta
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Significant Hike In Local Jobless Rate, Which Hits 6.2%


LETHBRIDGE:   While the latest unemployment rate is positive on the national front, that isn't the case locally.

Nationally, Canadian employers put 95,000 people to work in May, which pushed the country's unemployment rate down a tenth of a point to 7.1%. The vast majority of the jobs gain came in the full-time category and were all in the private sector.


Of the 95,000 added jobs, about 18,600 were added in Alberta but, the provincial jobless rate still inched up to 4.8% from 4.4%.


As well, the Lethbridge Medicine Hat region, which usually has one of the lowest jobless rates, now has the highest at 6.2%. That's up from 5.5% in April and well above the 4.6% in May of last year.


Heather McIntosh-Rivera, Director of Business Development and Operations at Economic Development Lethbridge, says, "What we've noticed, is that when the government reduces spending, it inevitably has an impact on Lethbridge, as eight of our top ten largest employers are public sector (health care, education, agriculture research), so we do typically have an impact in the region in regards to that".


Also, Mcintosh-Rivera, reminds us that Lethbridge is just one half of the equation, "We did speak with Medicine Hat (officials), because as an employment region we have to work together on trying to understand what this employment rate means and they did indicate that spring break-up, and the amount of moisture we've had, means there has been some impact on the oil industry there".


Mcintosh-Rivera admits they are surprised by this large of a bump in the jobless rate. However, she says that moving into the summer, there's usually growth in the hospitality and construction sectors, which should bring the rate down.

At 6.1%, only the Red Deer region has a similar jobless rate to Lethbridge. The rest of the provincial regions have jobless rates that range from a low of 3% for Camrose-Drumheller up to 4.9% for Calgary.


On the up-side, Alberta still has the second lowest jobless rate in the country, right behind Saskatchewan.


Posted on Friday, June 07, 2013 at 4/17/2014 8:38:29 AM
Source: Dori Modney (@Dori_Modney on Twitter) -- Country 95 News
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