Chamber CEO encouraged by lower unemployment rate

By Sheldon Spackman
September 8, 2017 - 3:06pm

The CEO of the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce sees some positive news in the latest local unemployment rate.  

With the Red Deer region’s jobless rate coming in at 5.6 per cent in August, down from 9.6 per cent in August of 2016, Robin Bobocel says, “ I think the economy is starting to turn around thanks to the innovation and the fortitude of businesses.”

He adds, “Business adjusts to the marketplace in which it operates, so I think obviously there was an initial reaction to a downturn in the economy which resulted in significant layoffs and businesses have retooled and readjusted.” Bobocel points out “ They’re now starting to make cautious returns to profitability into success.”

The Red Deer region’s unemployment rate last month was also lower than the 5.8 per cent jobless rate in July.

“People in central Alberta are hard workers and they’re keen to get back to work so I don’t think they’ve given up.” Bobocel adds “ I think there’s been some retraining that’s happened. From what we’ve been told, people have changed some of theIr career trajectories and professions and so that takes time and we’re starting again to see that bounce back in job numbers.”

The Red Deer region’s unemployment rate is second lowest in the province only to the Lethbridge – Medicine Hat region which had a 4.5 per cent jobless rate last month. The national unemployment rate edged lower to 6.2 per cent in August, down from 7 per cent in August of 2016.

Bobocel points out, “I think it’s important to recognize the strength and the dedication of employers in the region to reinvest in their businesses and communities and we’re starting to see that despite the fact that various levels of government seem to be making it more and more difficult for businesses to survive.”  

Red Deer August home starts near last year's but still a slow 2017

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