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Another big jump for local unemployment rate

The unemployment rate in western Alberta has taken another huge leap.

After shooting up to 4.2 per cent in February, it jumped to 5.1 per cent last month in the economic region that houses Grande Prairie and Peace River.

At this time last year, it was 3.7 per cent – tied for the lowest in the province.

Numbers from the Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour show more than 8,000 employees were laid off in large groups in the first quarter of 2015, the majority of which were connected to the oil and gas industry.

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The others are retail and food service, including Target employees.

Alberta’s unemployment rate rose slightly from 5.3 per cent to 5.5.

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