Northeast BC unemployment drops more than half to 4.6% in 2017

06 January, 2018, 02:57 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Unemployment drops to lowest rate in more than 40 years

Red Deer region's unemployment rate is the lowest among Alberta's seven regions and well below the province's 6.9 per cent.

The Canadian dollar is likely to weaken over the coming months, a Reuters poll showed, as the Bank of Canada falls further behind the Federal Reserve on interest rate hikes due to an uncertain outlook for NAFTA and tighter domestic mortgage rules.

December's numbers bring a close to the data for 2017 as a whole, which ended up being Canada's best year for jobs since 2002, with the economy adding 422,500 jobs last year with the gains driven by 394,200 new full-time positions.

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"The gains in 2017 were nearly all in full-time work, and were mainly in health care and social assistance; construction; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing", Stats Canada noted in its survey.

In December 2016, the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent, the report said. That is up slightly from November's 5.0 per cent.

According to data from Statistics Canada, the December unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 per cent nationally, its lowest mark since comparable data became available in 1976. Its benchmark interest rate sits at 1 percent, while the Fed's is in a range of 1.25 percent to 1.50 percent.

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"Maybe the weak Canadian dollar can explain some of the traded sector's growth", said Jia.

"We think that today's report is enough to push governor Poloz into a rate hike later this month", CIBC economist Nick Exarhos wrote Friday in a research note to clients.

The unemployment rate in Kitchener-Waterloo fell to 4.9 per cent, but only because of a 2,100-worker drop in the local labour force. The work force last December included 2.32 million workers compared with 2.27 in December 2016.

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Saskatchewan had its first noticeable employment increase in 10 months as almost 5,000 jobs were added to the economy in December.

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