It’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Here is some important news for the week.

The monthly employment report from Statistics Canada has released, showing that Fort McMurray’s job market somewhat improved in August:

Local Unemployment Rate Drops For Second Straight Month

According to Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey, the rate for Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake was 6.0 per cent for August – down from July’s 6.3 per cent.

Despite this, the region lost around 100 jobs – now sitting at roughly 83,700 spots.

The biggest loss of jobs was in the education sector, which saw a decrease of around 300. The forestry, fishing, mining and oil and gas sector added the most positions with 300 of their own. Via

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased to 6.1 percent, and the market lost 52,000 jobs.

In more good news for local employees, the provincial minimum wage is set to increase to $15 from $13.60 currently:

Thousands of workers in the region to see wage increase

According to a report done by Public Interest Alberta, 8300 workers in the region earn less than the incoming wage, while 4300 make the current minimum wage.

The numbers, which come from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey ending June 30 of this year, also show that 60.5 per cent of those making minimum wage are women.

Those 20 years and older make up more than 73.5 per cent of the region’s workforce who make $13.60. read more at

More than 8000 workers in Wood Buffalo will be affected by the pay increase, which will also benefit 302,300 other Albertans.

In recent months, we’ve noted that business seems to be moving uptown, and the city council is debating how best to revive the downtown area:

Councillors talk downtown development

The question of downtown revitalization and business development was brought forward to administration when Councillor Krista Balsom asked if there was anything that could be done in the near future, before the Economic Development Corporation is able to get up and running, to assist local businesses.

“I think our business community really needs to see our municipal council step up and very visibly support them in the coming months,” said Balsom.

“In recent weeks we’ve been looking to create a very innovative, hard-hitting campaign and we will be looking at some creative concepts this week that will talk about shop local in a very direct way,” Administration said. h/t

Other issues discussed were downtown parking limits, FIFO commuters, and off-road vehicles being used in firebreak areas.

That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

Disclaimer: The A-Team is a team of associates at Walsh Real Estate (2010) Ltd o/a RE/MAX® Fort McMurray, 9919 Biggs Avenue, Fort McMurray, Alberta, T9H 1S2. Each office is independently owned and operated. The licensed associates are Tom Albrecht, Breanna Albrecht, Denise Hildebrand, Aaron Chalmers, Erin Ogren, Heather McCandless, and Rita Sobkowich. Eric Dunham, mortgage specialist with RBC®, is not affiliated. We also recommend Amanda Stuart at TD Bank® and Mariam Fawaz at Mortgages for Less®.

Licensed and Regulated by the Real Estate Council of Alberta.