More people are working in Prince Albert in March 2018 than were working in 2017, but fewer people are involved in the labour force as fewer are actively looking for work, the latest job numbers from Statistics Canada show.
The March job update shows an estimated 21,000 people employed in P.A., as compared to 20,400 working last year. It also shows over 1,000 fewer people looking for work.
However, the number of people not in the labour force has risen. In order to be considered not in the labour force, someone has to be neither working nor looking for work. To be considered unemployed, you have to be looking for work.
Someone can be out of the labour force for several reasons, whether they’re students, retirees, people fed up with the job search or injured and unable to work.
The participation rate, which reflects the labour force as compared to the general population, fell by about three percentage points year over year, while the unemployment rate dropped by over five percentage points from 12.1 to 6.7.
Those numbers are unadjusted for seasonality.
According to the government, about 4,200 new jobs were created in March when compared to February, seasonally adjusted. That 0.7 per cent increase was the highest among the provinces. The national increase was 0.2 per cent.
Female employment also showed signs of growth, with a record high 264,400 for the month of March.
The NDP, though, had a different take.
The opposition party said year over year, the province has the second slowest job growth rate in the country, with only Newfoundland and Labrador employment growing slower.
They also pointed out that the First Nations employment rate continues to hover around the 20 per cent mark.