Employment jumps in census region covering Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo

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The census region for the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region added 1,500 new jobs in September, according to Statistics Canada data released Friday. Health care and social assistance led job creation, while education continued losing the most jobs.

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September unemployment for the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake census region dropped to 5.9 per cent from 6 per cent in August. Employment rose slightly to 71.1 per cent from 69.9 per cent. Employment in September 2022 was 67.5 per cent and unemployment was 6.1 per cent. Until last month, unemployment had been rising since April when Statistics Canada reported a 4.1 per cent rate.

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There was no net change in jobs for the sector that covers the oilsands. Job gains were reported in:

  • 700 new jobs in health care and social assistance
  • 600 new jobs in retail
  • 400 new jobs in public administration
  • 300 new jobs in transportation and warehousing
  • 200 new jobs in business, building and other support services
  • 100 new jobs in professional, scientific and technical services
  • 100 new jobs in accommodations and food

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Job losses were reported in:

  • 500 fewer jobs in education
  • 300 fewer jobs in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing
  • 200 fewer jobs in information, culture and recreation
  • 100 fewer jobs in construction
  • 100 fewer jobs in the job sector labelled “other”

The participation rate—which measures how much of the population is working or actively looking for work—rose to 75.5 per cent last month. The rate was 74.3 per cent in August and 71.8 per cent in September 2022.

The labour force in September grew by 1,500 positions from August and 6,100 positions from September 2022. The region added 1,600 full-time jobs from August and lost 100 part-time jobs.

Alberta lost 38,000 jobs in September, offsetting cumulative gains of 30,000 jobs in the previous July and August. The unemployment rate remained at 5.7 per cent as the labour force participation rate fell 1.3 percentage points to 68.4 per cent.

Nationally, employment rose by 64,000 new jobs in September, fuelled mostly by 48,000 new part-time jobs. Growth in part-time work has outpaced full-time jobs since the start of the year. Canada’s employment rate rose slightly to 62 per cent, offsetting a decline in August. Unemployment was unchanged at 5.5 per cent.

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