Red Deer region's unemployment rate is the lowest among Alberta's seven regions and well below the province's 6.9 per cent.
Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce changed their forecasts after a Statistics Canada report Friday showed the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 5.7 per cent in December, from 5.9 per cent the previous month, on the strength of 78,600 new jobs.
"The gains in 2017 were nearly all in full-time work, and were mainly in health care and social assistance; construction; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing", Stats Canada noted in its survey. The jobless rate in Windsor fell to 6.1 per cent from 6.3 per cent, with an increase in employment and labour force.
The 9.8 per cent rate for 2017 was marginally higher than in 1978, when it was 9.79 per cent.
"Maybe the weak Canadian dollar can explain some of the traded sector's growth", said Jia. "We're going to wait to see what the Business Outlook Survey says", he added in an interview.
"The books closed on a phenomenal year for Canadian employment with another spectacular result for December", CIBC economist Nick Exarhos wrote in a brief report.
"Canadian employment continued to defy gravity, adding almost 80 thousand jobs for a second consecutive month in December - the best back-to-back gains in five years", writes RBC economist Josh Nye in a note released today.
The U.S. dollar pared gains against a basket of major currencies on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy created fewer jobs than expected in December. A year ago, unemployment sat at 8.5 per cent in Alberta.
Looking back at 2017, factories saw employment increase 3.5 per cent, while the services sector experienced a boost of two per cent.