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Alberta’s unemployment rate dropped in October, still among highest in Canada

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Alberta’s unemployment may have dropped in October 2020 but it remains one of the highest in the country. Bindu Suri has details. – Nov 6, 2020

Though Alberta’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend last month, it remains one of the highest in the country.

According to Statistics Canada’s October 2020 Labour Force Survey, the jobless rate in Alberta dropped one percentage point to 10.7 per cent from 11.7 per cent in September.

Only Newfoundland and Labrador had higher provincial unemployment numbers than Alberta last month, sitting at 12.8 per cent,

Read more: Canada adds 84K jobs in October, but about 1.8M still out of work

The Labour Force Survey, released on Friday, reflects labour market conditions during the week of Oct. 11-17.

The survey showed employment in Alberta rose by 23,000 (+1.1%), the fifth increase in six months.

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Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer said the province is on a path to recovery.

“With five consecutive months of growth, the addition of 23,400 jobs in October means that our province has now recovered 258,400 jobs that were lost during the pandemic. The majority of these jobs were full time,” Schweitzer said in a news release.

The employment gains were spread across several industries, including healthcare and social assistance, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale and retail trade. Employment in natural resources edged up in the month, but was down 5.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Edmonton’s unemployment rate now the highest in Canada

In October, Edmonton’s jobless rate dropped to 12.0 per cent from 12.6 per cent the month prior.

Though it declined, it was the highest unemployment rate in the country in October among the 34 metropolitan areas surveyed.

Following large employment losses earlier this year, Calgary has now posted four consecutive employment gains since summer, totalling 101,000 (+13.6%).

Calgary recorded an unemployment rate of 11.3 per cent in October, down from 12.6 per cent in September.

“Our monthly job gains are encouraging but we are still well off where we were last fall when our unemployment rate was under seven per cent,” Calgary Economic Development president and CEO Mary Moran said in a news release.

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“There is a foundation of resiliency in our economy, but it will be a long road back for Calgary. We need to attract more companies and more investment in all our sectors and create more jobs.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate was little changed in October, sitting at 8.9 per cent compared with 9.0 per cent in September.

A look at Calgary and Edmonton’s unemployment rate history:

April 2020

↑ Calgary: 10.8 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 10.0 per cent

May 2020

↑ Calgary: 13.4 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 13.6 per cent

June 2020

↑ Calgary: 15.6 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 15.7 per cent

July 2020

↓ Calgary: 15.5 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 15.0 per cent

August 2020

↓ Calgary: 14.4 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 13.6 per cent

September 2020

↓ Calgary: 12.6 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 12.6 per cent

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October 2020

↓ Calgary: 11.3 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 12.0 per cent