Alberta Flooding Cost Net 5.1 Million Hours of Work in June

Flooding in Alberta in June led to a net loss of 5.1 million hours of work, Statistics Canada said today.

About 300,000 Albertans, or 13.5 percent of people employed in the province, lost 7.5 million hours of work because of floods during the second half of June, the statistics agency said. That was partly offset by 134,000 people who worked an additional 2.4 million hours.

In its July Monetary Policy Report, the Bank of Canada forecast that the flooding would curtail economic growth by an annualized 0.7 percentage point in the second quarter, and would raise growth by 1 percentage point in the third quarter because of repair and reconstruction projects.

The 5.1 million hours worked represents about 1 percent of total hours worked in a week in Canada, according to Bloomberg calculations using Statistics Canada data.

The statistics agency’s labor force report for June didn’t take the flooding into account because the reference period for the survey was June 9 to June 15. That report showed employment was little changed during the month.

Last June’s floods forced the evacuation of as many as 75,000 people from their homes in Calgary, about 7 percent of the city’s population. Parts of Calgary, with more corporate headquarters than any other Canadian city except Toronto, were under water after the Bow and Elbow rivers swelled from record rainfall in the nearby Rocky Mountains and spilled into low-lying communities.

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