April 8, 2024

Weekly EconMinute—March 2024 Labour Force Survey

In this week’s EconMinute, we’re talking about the March 2024 Labour Force Survey.

It was another month of a cooling labour market. The Canadian economy added no new jobs in March, while the population continues to grow. As a result, the unemployment rate ticked up from 5.8 to 6.1%, marking the first time it’s been over 6% in two years. The silver lining is that this provides evidence to the Bank of Canada that the economy is slowing enough to ease inflationary pressures and open the door for future interest rate cuts.

Unemployment in Alberta, which has been higher the national average, ticked up slightly as well. Driving this increase was a drop in employment among those in the labour force (3.2k jobs lost), rather than an increase in people looking for work. Nonetheless, both the participation and employment rate remain substantially higher in the province than the rest of the country overall.

Recent softening in Alberta was driven by job losses in services-related industries, especially retail trade and part-time positions. Meanwhile, goods-producing industries saw modest gains. For more information on what’s happening in the labour market and what we can expect next, check out our quarterly Alberta Snapshot to be published later this month.

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