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Did you know that Alberta's unemployment rate decreased to 6.9% ?

What a huge pleasure I feel to be able to communicate this wonderful news, because according to the recent study of Statistics Canada it was concluded that: "the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1976".

This means that the rate registers at the lowest level of the last 40 years, and as if that were not enough, the study shows that "Alberta" was one of the provinces that led labor growth during the past month.

It should be noted that Alberta's unemployment rate fell from 8.5 percent at the end of 2016 to 6.9 percent at the end of 2017. Between November 2017 and December 2018, the unemployment rate reduced 0.4 percentage points to reach 6.9 percent.

The records show that last month in our province employment increased by 26,000 new job positions, and of them the vast majority corresponds to full-time jobs in various industries, among which the most outstanding are: housing, food, and natural resources.

Moreover, the report suggests that Calgary and Edmonton lead the economic growth of the province.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, it is estimated that the economy of Alberta will grow by 2.1% after the increase registered in 2017.

For its part, Edmonton's economy is expected to increase by 3.9 percent this year.

However, the GDP of Edmonton is expected to decrease to 2.2 percent during 2018.

Increases in drilling and oil production are driving economic growth in the two largest cities in Alberta, but oil remains around US $ 50.00 per barrel and this implies that during 2018 will see a more moderate growth.

Either way, Alberta's economy is currently growing at 3.5 percent, well above the national rate of 2.3 percent.

The chief economist of ATB Financial, Mr. Todd Hirsch said: "2017 was a decisive year for employment in Alberta, unlike the current situation it is important to highlight the increase in the rate of growth as well as the positive increase in the quality of the jobs".

In this regard, he stated that: "Not only were there many new job offers, but also the quality of the jobs that are being created are very good and this extends to a wide variety of sectors.

Mr. Hirsch concluded by saying that: "This is the kind of work reports we have waited so long to see again."

Now although the statistics are improving, that does not mean there is not work to be done and that is why simultaneously to these announcements the government of Alberta reported the improvements to the work programs, among them we highlight the following:

-Improvements in the government's Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) initiative will help students get more work and more job opportunities during the summer season.

Notably, this program provides funds to Alberta employers to hire summer students, employers are awarded a $ 7.00 per hour wage subsidy to provide students with work experience in the summer period from May to August.

The Minister of Labor, Christina Gray, said: "This program helps young people in Alberta develop important job skills on the way to their rewarding careers, while helping employers hire the people they need."

In the same way I express a deep and public thanks to the employers who request and support our future generations of new brilliant-successful professionals.

Unfortunately the program had been cut in March 2013 by the previous Conservative government, but it was finally restored in 2015.

The province said STEP helped approximately 2,700 students connect with their work experience with more than 1,200 employers in Alberta last year.

With an annual budget of $ 10 million, STEP is available to nonprofit organizations, small businesses, public libraries, school boards, municipalities, First Nations settlements and Métis associations.

Finally, employers who are interested in participating in the program are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

The Minister of Labor, Gray, took the opportunity to mention that an investment of $ 15 million dollars was provided to training and employment programs throughout the province.

Funding will be distributed over three years to expand the program: "Transitions to Employment Services" in 14 communities in Alberta, including: Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge.

For its part, the indigenous construction training program will receive $ 1.9 million dollars in government funds.

Gray said: "The funds will help 1,500 people in Alberta to receive work support and training, because through this plan, people can access the skills they need for the jobs that employers are offering and hiring."

The programs allow the unemployed to get short-term vocational training, provide unpaid work experience and connect with employers who are offering job opportunities. "

To be eligible to participate in the Transitions to Employment Services program, services are selected according to needs, a realistic employment goal is chosen, a plan is established, the person must be eligible to work in Canada and have the educational or of pre-requisite. The process culminates with interviews and practice scenarios, the writing of a good curriculum, as well as a cover letter.

As you can see winds of hope are coming, Alberta has committed more than $ 20 million for training under the employment plan, an investment of at least $ 15 million that is part of the 2018 budget.