BC the winner, Quebec the loser (The best (and worst) provinces for job growth right now)


The best (and worst) provinces for job growth right now

by Kate Robertson, Investopedia.com
Friday, August 27, 2010
provided by 
Since this time last year, Statistics Canada reported that national employment inched up 2.3% with 394,000 more people working. But in the last month, 139,000 full-time jobs were lost, while part-time jobs increased by about 130,000, edging the unemployment rate back up to 8%.
Jobs in education, finance, insurance and real estate took the brunt of the drop in full-time work last month, but increases in manufacturing and public administration helped to balance out July’s numbers.
Most provinces maintained steady employment numbers for the month, but two provinces leapt ahead of the pack in job gains: British Columbia and Alberta.

The Winners

British Columbia
For the month of July, Canada’s western-most province gained 16,000 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.3 points to 7.5%. Stats Canada reports that since this time last year, British Columbians have enjoyed one of the highest employment growth rates in the country with 67,000 more jobs overall since July 2009.

B.C.’s provincial government says that much of this is due to high numbers of construction projects in the region. The province reports that since the beginning of the year, there have been 896 major construction projects at an estimated value of $191 billion underway or planned for the near future – an all-time high for the region. There are 547 major construction projects that are being proposed at this time – another broken record for the province.

B.C. also reports that lumber production has increased by more than 22% compared to this time last year and spending on TV and film production increased by more than $100 million since 2008. Finally, the ports of Prince Rupert and Metro Vancouver say that shipping tonnage has increased dramatically since 2009. (You may not have been laid off – yet. Find out if you’re at risk in How Secure Is Your Job?)

Employment numbers increased healthily for the fourth month in a row with 9,000 more jobs created last month in Alberta and unemployment is at its lowest since April 2009 at 6.3% for the province. But contrary to B.C.’s steady employment gains over the last year, Alberta has struggled with one of the slowest growth rates in Canada at 1.2%.

The growth the province has seen in the last year is due in part to retail sales, which have increased by 2.4% since May 2009. And, as opposed to the rest of the country where housing starts have decreased by 1.6% in the last year, Alberta has seen an increase of 8.1%.  The province also reports that the value of building permits saw an increase of 17.7% in the last month to close to $1.2 billion.

In the oil industry, the province’s bread and butter, the average number of rigs drilling in the province went up 68.4% in the last month.  The Alberta government says that in the last year, drilling activity is up 135.5%.

The Losers

Quebec reported a decline in employment by 21,000 in July – the first significant decline in the last year. Unemployment is higher than the national average, hovering around at 8.2% in the province, although in the last 12 months, employment has increased by 2.5%.

The province has seen decreases in the manufacturing, transportation and warehousing and education sectors over the last year, but reports increases in the service sector, which makes up approximately 78% of employment in Quebec. (Don’t get trapped in a dying career sector. Find out The 9 Worst Career Choices Right Now.)

There were 30,000 jobs lost in full-time employment last month in Ontario, with 15,000 part-time jobs partially offsetting those numbers. But even with that offset, the province reported its first decline in employment in seven months, with education, finance, insurance and real estate taking a big hit. Ontario reports that even though the manufacturing sector also saw decreases last month, there are still 5,000 more jobs in the field than this time last year.

Slow Overall
There were very slight increases in employment in east coast provinces Prince Edward Island (+1.1%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+0.5%) and New Brunswick (+0.4%) in the month of July. Nationally, the education sector saw high job losses, with 65,000 fewer workers in teaching at the primary and secondary level and custodial work. There were 30,000 fewer workers in finance, insurance and real estate this past month, bringing those industries back to the same level they were at this time last year.

Statistics Canada reports that the industries with the highest growth rates nationally are construction, professional, scientific and technical services and in health care.



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