- Medicine Hat’s unemployment rate remains at 6.9%
- More building permits issued for institutional construction locally and provincially than 2016
March’s employment rates and building permits were released this week, indicating that the city’s economy is showing a steady recovery from last years’ economic downturn.
In March, Medicine Hat’s unemployment rate remained at 6.9%, a two per cent decrease from March 2016. The steady rate is a good sign in comparison to last year when unemployment started a slow increase early in the year before reaching a record high of 13% in July 2016.
Provincially, a total of 39,600 jobs have been createdince July 2016 with 20,400 positions available between February and March of this year.
Although there are more new openings in oil and gas, Hatters are going back to work in a variety of sectors. Medicine Hat is seeing its share of start-ups from craft breweries to sauce making and daycare services. In March, 4,155 businesses were incorporated in the province, which has increased 13% from last year.
Although the total number of building permits in Medicine Hat and Alberta decreased this February, there was a notable rise in the number of permits for institutional buildings, such as and care homes. Provincially, there was a 14.6% rise in institutional permits compared to February 2016 and locally the institutional building permits were $19 million, up from $441,000 in 2016. In fact, Medicine Hat’s construction sector is at work completing projects, including the 217,000 square foot Southland Meadows long-term care facility.
With the unemployment rate shrinking and large construction projects underway, Medicine Hat’s economy is making a gradual recovery. Hatters are creating employment opportunities by starting their own businesses and the construction sector is building new amenities for the future.