Alberta’s opposition NDP have been hammering the government recently with the accusation that the province has lost “50,000 jobs” under the UCP’s watch. The data, however, doesn’t bear that out.

While employment appears to have been on a downward trend since last summer, the scale of job losses is almost certainly being overstated by NDP MLAs who keep repeating the “50,000” figure.

How so? It has to do with the way Statistics Canada’s data is understood — or misunderstood.

Every month, the federal agency publishes the results of its Labour Force Survey, which forms the basis for the news reports you hear on things like the unemployment rate. But there are some nuances to the numbers that are often lost, especially when figures are taken in isolation.