Alberta’s unemployment remains high

The Canadian Press

Alberta’s labour force survey for June shows that unemployment remains high across the province, and that while some sectors are making gains, others are still showing losses.

Alberta’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 15.5 per cent in June, which was unchanged from May, according to the results of Statistics Canada’s June Labour Force Survey.

In June 2019, the rate was 6.6 per cent across the province. The province has the second-highest unemployment rate in Canada, surpassed only by Newfoundland, which is experiencing 16.5 per cent unemployment.

Alberta’s labour force increased by 109,000 people from May to June, from about 2.36 million to 2.47 million. The number of unemployed increased from about 365,100 to about 382,500, but this was near proportional to the rise in the overall labour force, so the overall unemployment rate was unchanged.

The unemployment rate of the Camrose-Drumheller region, which includes Strathmore and Wheatland County, was measured at 12.8 per cent, as an unadjusted, three-month moving average. Calgary had the second-highest unemployment rate of any region in June, measured at 15 per cent.

The number of employed increased from about two million to about 2.1 million. 

Of the job gains, 72,000 were for full-time employment, whereas 19,600 were part-time positions.

Compared to last year, the private sector showed the most job losses (234,000), with the public sector showing 46,800 losses. More Albertans are turning to self-employment, with an increase of 15,300 reporting self-employed over the same period.

Unemployment in Alberta is higher for youth (those aged 15 to 24) at 30.7 per cent, than for adults (aged 25 and above) at 13.2 per cent. Among adults, males are experiencing higher unemployment than females (14.2 per cent compared to 11.9 per cent, respectively). For youth, the unemployment rate was similar among males and females (30.9 per cent versus 30.6 per cent, respectively).

Across the province, construction was the only goods-producing sector that showed an increase in employment in June compared to May, with manufacturing, utilities, agriculture and the combined category of forestry, fishing, mining, and oil and gas, all showing declines.

Service-producing sectors with employment increases in June compared to May include trade; finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; business, building and other support services; information, culture and recreation; heath care and social assistance; information, culture and recreation; public administration; and, accommodation and food services. 

The sectors of transportation and warehousing; professional, scientific and technical services; and education services showed a decline.

-Johnathan Rados photo

By Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Strathmore Times

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