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Employment insurance numbers reach a record in November

FILE - This April 22, 2014, file photo shows an employment application form on a table during a job fair at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

The latest numbers on E.I. claims in Alberta are grim.

ATB Financial Chief Economist Todd Hirsch says November E.I. numbers were at a near record, just behind July, which included people who were temporarily out of work because of the Fort McMurray wildfire.

While there are signs things are getting better in some sectors, this is not exactly true for oil and gas.

Hirsch says at the current price for oil, even if companies start hiring again, many people won’t be making the kind of six digit salaries they got used to earlier in the decade.

“One could argue there was even a little bit of over hiring and too rich of compensation for certain positions, and that’s why the energy sector ran into a big problem when these oil prices fell.”

Hirsch says, as we move into 2017, people are starting to take jobs they might not have been interested in months ago.

He suspects the almost 97,000 E.I. claims in November will be the worst it gets.