- Medicine Hat unemployment rate shrinks to 6.9% as new jobs added, following national trends
- Job seekers plucked from the market as oil and gas continues its rebound
February unemployment numbers from arrived in our inbox Friday with uplifting news that unemployment in Medicine Hat is continuing a downward trend. Local unemployment fell to 6.9% in February, bringing it close to national average of 6.8% and beating the provincial rate of 8.3%.
Medicine Hat’s unemployment rate has decreased from last February’s 8.1%, which continued to climb into a record high when it reached 13% in July 2016.
Also, the city’s unemployment rate is lower than it was in January 2017, when it was at 8.0%. It marks the second consecutive month of improved jobs numbers for the city.
Nationally, 15,300 jobs were added in February, driven by 105,100 new full-time jobs, according to Statistics Canada.
In Alberta 1,300 positions were added to the job market and Medicine Hat’s workforce saw new opportunities in the oil and gas sector in early 2017 as local companies sought to fill new positions with hiring fairs. This activity followed ATB Financial and TD Economics forecasting a slight uptick in the sector. At the same time, construction has picked up as new developments are built in retail, and healthcare services.
Medicine Hat’s workforce is educated in engineering and technology, administration, and trades and is fed by new graduates from Medicine Hat College. Additionally, many people have field experience working in the oil and gas sector, trades and business. Residents enjoy some of the most affordable home prices in Canada, with Medicine Hat ranked as the most affordable city in Alberta.
Medicine Hat’s positive jobs numbers mirror provincial and national stats, providing further evidence that economic activity is returning to the region following a historically deep provincial recession. As new projects continue to break ground and work picks up, there is reason for cautious optimism in Medicine Hat.