Local unemployment in January shows few monthly, year-over-year changes

Construction saw the most gains from December. Retail added the most jobs since January 2023, but lost the most jobs from December.

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The new year in the census region covering Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo started with unemployment largely unchanged from the start of 2023, according to data from Statistics Canada. However, last month reported more people in the labour force compared to January 2023.

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Construction saw the most gains from December. Retail added the most jobs since January 2023, but lost the most jobs from December. The sector covering professional, scientific and technical services lost the most jobs from January 2023.

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January unemployment for the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake census region rose to 4.8 per cent from 4.6 per cent in December. Employment dropped to 70.9 per cent from 71.4 per cent. Employment in January 2023 was 69.9 per cent and unemployment was 4.9 per cent. Unemployment in 2023 peaked in August at six per cent.

The participation rate—which measures how much of the population is working or actively looking for work—dropped to 74.5 per cent last month. The rate was 74.8 per cent in December and 73.3 per cent in January 2023.

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The labour force in December shrank by 100 positions in January but grew by 3,600 positions from January 2023. The region gained 100 full-time jobs and lost 300 part-time jobs from December, but respectively gained 3,600 jobs and lost 200 jobs from January 2023.

  • Construction gained 600 jobs from December and gained 800 jobs from January 2023.
  • The sector covering business, building and other support services gained 400 jobs from December and gained 1,000 jobs from January 2023.
  • The health care and social assistance sector gained 200 jobs from December and gained 500 jobs from January 2023.
  • The sector covering finance, insurance, real estate, rentals and leasing gained 200 jobs from December and lost 100 jobs from January 2023.
  • Accommodations and food gained 200 jobs from December and lost 2,000 jobs from January 2023.
  • Education has showed no massive change since November 2023 and gained 1,100 jobs from January 2023.
  • Public administration has showed no change since November 2023 and gained 1,000 jobs from January 2023.
  • The category labelled “other” lost 100 jobs from December and gained 600 jobs from January 2023.
  • The sector covering transportation and warehousing lost 100 jobs from December and lost 700 jobs from January 2023.
  • The sector covering the oilsands lost 200 positions from December and gained 100 from January 2023.
  • The sector covering professional, scientific and technical services lost 300 jobs from December and lost 1,100 jobs from January 2023.
  • Retail lost 500 jobs from December and gained 2,100 jobs from January 2023.

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