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Alberta’s unemployment among still highest in Canada as Calgary, Edmonton job losses climb

Alberta’s unemployment rate remains highest in Canada
WATCH ABOVE: Despite adding 92,000 jobs in June, Alberta's unemployment rate remains at 15.5 per cent. Tom Vernon has a closer look at the latest job numbers.

Alberta’s unemployment rate remained among the highest in Canada in June as COVID-19 continued to take its toll on the provincial economy.

According to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey, the jobless rate in Alberta held steady at 15.5 per cent in June, the same it had been one month prior.

Only Newfoundland and Labrador had higher provincial unemployment numbers, sitting at 16.5 per cent compared with 16.3 in May.

Read more: Alberta’s unemployment rate spiked to 15.5% in May, remains among highest in Canada

The Labour Force Survey, released on Friday, reflects labour market conditions as of the week of June 14 to 20.

By then, public health restrictions had been substantially eased in most provinces across Canada, including Alberta, which moved to Stage 2 of its relaunch strategy on June 12.

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In the survey, Statistics Canada notes that the reopening of the Canadian economy presented both opportunities and challenges for employers and workers as they tried to ensure their own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of customers and the general public.

Premier Jason Kenney said the government is doing what it can through its recovery plan, which includes infrastructure investments and dramatically cutting the corporate tax rate.

“A plan to build, to diversify and to create jobs through bold action that will leverage our biggest industry, energy, while continuing to diversify in other areas, including innovation,” Kenney said Friday.

“We’ve got to get the whole economy moving again, and that’s why our province has stepped up with the largest and the biggest economic recovery plan of any province in Canada.”

Edmonton’s unemployment rate remains highest in Canada

Edmonton’s unemployment rate remained the highest in the country in June as citizens dealt with the fallout of the pandemic and its impact on the labour force.

According to Statistics Canada, the jobless rate in the province’s capital sat at 15.7 per cent last month, a sharp increase from 13.6 per cent in May and the worst among the 33 metropolitan areas surveyed.

Read more: Alberta’s unemployment rate spiked to 15.5% in May, remains among highest in Canada

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Calgary, meanwhile, climbed to 15.6 per cent from 13.4 per cent the month prior.

Nationally, Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 12.3 per cent in June after hitting a record-high of 13.7 per cent in May.

Calgary unemployment rate hits 15.6% amid COVID-19 pandemic and downturn
Calgary unemployment rate hits 15.6% amid COVID-19 pandemic and downturn

Read more: Canada adds 950K jobs in June, unemployment falls amid coronavirus pandemic

The Bank of Canada and the federal government say the worst of the economic pain from the pandemic is behind the country, but Canada will face high unemployment and low growth until 2021.

The economic outlook released by the Liberal government Wednesday forecasts the unemployment rate to be 9.8 per cent for the calendar year, dropping to 7.8 per cent next year based on forecasts by 13 private sector economists.

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– With files from The Canadian Press