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Recession continues, job market deteriorates for Alberta: Todd Hirsch

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Recession continues, job market deteriorates for Alberta: Todd Hirsch

Job vacancy rate by province and territory, first quarets 2015 and 2016//Statistics Canada

The recession isn’t over quite yet.

Those words from ATB Financial’s Chief Economist Todd Hirsch who adds the province’s unemployment rate is likely to rise over the summer and into the fall.

Hirsch says the recession in the 1980s was still worse than the current one when the unemployment rate reached the double digits.

Today the rate is 8.6 per cent.

Hirsch says Statistics Canada has not included figures from Wood Buffalo in the survey for May, June, and July so the impact of the wildfire and evacuation are not figured into the numbers.

Hirsch says the province is down 117,000 jobs since January 2015, adding despite the full-time job losses, the province gained 54,000 part-time jobs.

The ratio of full-time to part-time jobs has fallen from 5 to 4.2 which is also the national average.

Hirsch says there are a number of reasons why people may choose to work at a part-time job, however, they could be looking for full-time work and only able to find part-time.

Hirsch also say employment losses since the onset of oil price decline have been concentrated in the highest paid jobs in the province, the energy sector.

The next three top paying sectors are manufacturing, professional, scientific, and technical occupations, and construction and they have all suffered employment losses.

Earnings in the two sectors that have gained the most jobs are lower paying: health care and social assistance and education with weekly earnings both below the provincial average.

Hirsch says these factors point to a deterioration in the job market and household earnings.

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