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Alberta’s jobless rate stays steady in April amid third wave of COVID-19

As workplaces transition to the next normal, employment experts predict a flurry of resignations. Getty Images

Alberta’s unemployment rate remained virtually unchanged last month as businesses continued to struggle through the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Statistics Canada’s April 2021 Labour Force Survey, Alberta recorded a jobless rate of 9.0 per cent in April, down just a single tenth of a percentage point from the month prior (9.1).
Ontario also recorded an unemployment rate of 9.0 per cent in April, placing both provinces in a tie for the second-largest provincial jobless rate in the country; only Newfoundland and Labrador was higher, climbing to 13.9 per cent.
The Labour Force Survey, released on Friday, reflects labour market conditions the week of April 11 to 17, shortly after Jason Kenney’s UCP government introduced stricter COVID-19 health restrictions forcing restaurants to close indoor dining and capping retail locations at 15 per cent of their fire code occupancy.

Read more: Canada lost 207,000 jobs in April amid renewed COVID-19 restrictions

Though dining outside on restaurant patios remained an option, that too will no longer be allowed starting Sunday at 11:59 p.m., and retail is now capped at 10 per cent capacity.

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Nationally, Canada’s unemployment rate rose to 8.1 per cent in April from 7.5 per cent in March.

Statistics Canada said the economy lost 207,000. The losses nearly wiped out the 303,000 jobs added in March when the economy outpaced expectations and put the country about half a million jobs below pre-pandemic levels.

Edmonton and Calgary unemployment

Calgary recorded an unemployment rate of 9.3 per cent in April, down 0.7 percentage points from the month prior when it sat at 10 per cent.

Calgary Economic Development’s vice president of marketing and communications said it was “encouraging” to see Calgary’s unemployment below double digits, “but we know there is still a long, bumpy road ahead in our economic recovery.”

“We are continuing to work with our stakeholders and business and community leaders on implementing the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, to ensure a successful future for Calgary,” Brad Parry said in a statement.

Edmonton’s unemployment rate also fell, dropping to 10.5 per cent in April from 11.6 per cent in March.

Though the jobless rate in Alberta’s capital continued its downward trend, it recorded one of the highest unemployment rates of the 34 metropolitan areas surveyed in April, with only Ontario’s St. Catharines-Niagara area (11.7) and Windsor (10.6) sitting higher.

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A look at Calgary and Edmonton’s unemployment rates amid COVID-19

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

October 2020

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

November 2020

↓ Calgary: 10.7 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 11.3 per cent

December 2020

↓ Calgary: 10.5 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 11.4 per cent

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January 2021

↑ Calgary: 10.6 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 11.9 per cent

February 2021

– Calgary: 10.6 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 11.6 per cent

March 2021

↓ Calgary: 10.0 per cent
↓  Edmonton: 11.2 per cent

April 2021

↓ Calgary: 9.3
↓ Edmonton: 10.5

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