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Saturday, December 03, 2005

National Jobless Rate Lowest in 30 Years

This article is from the Canadian Press, the second half of the article is more relevant to Alberta and Edmonton. Generally, high employment rates are good for the real estate market, and may even counter act small interest rake hikes...

OTTAWA -- If you remember when the pop single Kung Fu Fighting blasted from transistor radios and The Towering Inferno blazed across the big screen, you'll recall the last time Canada's jobless rate hit its November low of 6.4 %.

Not since December 1974 has the national unemployment rate dropped as low as it reached last month, analysts said yesterday.

The addition of about 30,600 new full-time positions in November pushed the rate below October's 6.6%, which was also a record not seen in three decades, Statistics Canada reported.

"This was just a stunningly strong report, especially following 68,700 new jobs added in October," said Marc Levesque, chief Canadian strategist with TD Securities. "It doesn't matter which way you dissect the data, the job numbers were extremely strong."

Christmas shoppers will likely be buoyed by the strong employment figures, which were spread fairly evenly across regions of the country and across most sectors.

UP SLIGHTLY IN ALBERTA
In Alberta, November's jobless rate was 4.1% based on a workforce of 1,872,000 against 76,900 unemployed. The jobless rate was up slightly from 4% in October, but way down from 4.6% in November last year, when 85,900 were out of work.

Edmonton's November jobless rate was estimated at 4.3% while Calgary's was 4.4%, the lowest among big Canadian cities.

Pundits suggest the jobless numbers are good news for Prime Minister Paul Martin, who has based the Liberal party's federal election platform on what he calls his government's sound economic management.

About 24,000 new construction jobs in Ontario and British Columbia added to November's employment picture.

Even the manufacturing sector added 6,800 jobs after massive losses over the past two years due to a soaring loonie.

But roughly 17,000 positions were lost in the health and social services fields last month and 15,000 were lost in finance, insurance and real estate.

Overall, some 50,200 full-time jobs were added in November while 19,600 part-time positions were shed, Statistics Canada reported.

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