The good news from today’s labour force numbers is - the sky is not falling in the Calgary labour market. With the amount of layoffs in the news, most of us know at least one person that has been affected directly by the economic downturn in the energy industry. Fortunately, Calgary has remained relatively resilient in the face of it all.
We’re very fortunate to have the lowest unemployment in Canada for major metropolitan markets. As expected, our unemployment rate went up slightly to 5.5% from 5.3%, but surprisingly, it's exactly the same rate as one year ago. Month over month, and year over year, we’ve had an increase in labour force participation and an increase in full-time and part-time jobs. The biggest employment gains this month were in Trade (3,700), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (2,200), Accommodation and Food Services (3,300), Health Care (2,900 jobs) and Educational Services (2,100).
The entire province created 38,400 jobs in the last 12 months, however 37,100 of those jobs were created right here in Calgary. We are seeing a lot of employers that are initiating very creative retention strategies to hold on to the talent that they’ve worked so hard to attract. Some companies are also looking at ways to diversify their service offerings. Economic times like this really help to drive innovation as companies look at ways to improve their efficiencies and productivity levels.
We all look forward to the time, hopefully in the not too distant future, that we see a rebound in the energy sector. However, Calgary’s diversification in industry is not only growing, it's thriving. Year over year, the top gains in sectors are:
To sum it up…Chicken Little is still alive and doing well in Calgary Alberta.