Western Alberta unemployment rate unchanged in October

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"The seemingly positive headline in the household survey masked some bearish details, as the one-tenth decline in the unemployment rate occurred amid a 0.4 percentage point plunge in the labor force participation rate, the biggest monthly decline in four years", Duncan said.

The gain in jobs came amid expectations that the economy has slowed from the torrid pace it set in the first half of the year. The leisure and hospitality industry was hardest hit by the hurricanes in September, shedding 111,000 jobs. Chief Economist Mark Fleming in a press release. Information, culture and recreation industries added 15,300 jobs. "Looking through the hurricane-created volatility, job growth is robust".

But economists said the hurricanes distorted wage calculations, with average compensation rising in September because fewer hourly laborers were able to work, and then falling as they returned to their jobs.

Offsetting those gains, the wholesale and retail trade sector lost 35,900 positions.

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When it was reported last month, the net loss broke a almost seven-year run of consecutive months with job gains. Manitoba added 4,000 jobs and Newfoundland and Labrador rose by 3,400. However, September's figure was revised up from a loss of 33,000 jobs to a gain of 18,000 and August's number was revised up from an increase of 169,000 to 208,000 jobs.

Unemployment was 6.7 per cent during the month, up from 6.5 per cent in September.

That was the largest gain since July past year, but was below economists' expectations for an increase of 310,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, imports fell 0.3 per cent to $46.7 billion as imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts fell 4.6 per cent and consumer goods fell 1.9 per cent.