PA’s unemployment rate passes 10 per cent as province rallies

After seven consecutive months of job losses, February statistics showed a strong employment rally in Saskatchewan. But Prince Albert was left trailing far behind.

According to Statistics Canada, the province’s employers created 5,000 jobs since the last reporting period, in mid-January. That pushed the unemployment rate down from 7.1 per cent to 6.5 per cent in February. Compared to this time last year, the rate dropped 0.2 percentage points, with 8,600 more people working across the province.

The seasonally adjusted rate, which takes account of seasonal patterns in employment, was also down, sinking 0.4 points to 6 per cent.

The news in Prince Albert wasn’t so rosy. The city shed 400 jobs since the last report, pushing unemployment up nearly two points, to 10.4 per cent. In February 2016, the unemployment rate was only 7.4 per cent.

Province-wide, the rally was led by job growth in health care, social assistance and education, as well as manufacturing, and accommodation and food services. For the first time in months, the province created more full-time jobs than it lost. About 7,200 more people are now employed in full-time positions, compared to January 2017.

For University of Saskatchewan economics professor Joel Bruneau, it could be the start of a recovery…

For more on this story, please see the March 11 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.