Alberta’s aggressive reopening plan could be good news for summer job seekers.
Statistic Canada released new details Monday suggesting the unemployment rate for returning students this summer was 23.1 per cent in May, compared to 40 per cent during last year’s pandemic closures. That compares to just 13.7 per cent unemployment for returning students in May 2019.
While there are ongoing challenges for seasonal employment for young people, the situation appears to quickly be improving.
The Calgary Stampede, for example, is hiring 3,000 people for July, including everything from bartending and custodial work to helping with lost kids.
Calaway Park is getting ready to open on June 12. The amusement park saw a record number of applications by those looking for summer work.
“We’ve had over 4,000 applications to the park and we were hiring 560 seasonal employees,” said general manager Bob Williams. “Typically on a normal year, we’re about 650. But we were fully hired on March 1 this year. So our team has been hired, we have been training and we’re in the last one or two days of training here.”
Summer camps are also expected to begin as soon as June 10, if Alberta’s reopening goes to plan. That will mean hundreds of jobs opening up at places like the University of Calgary, which plans to run eight weeks of programming, as well as the YMCA.
“It’s been a rather quick change,” said Logan Jones, the youth program manager with the U of C. “Some previous employees have chosen to take on other opportunities. So it’s going to be a bit of a blend between new staff and returning staff. It will all come together in the next few weeks.”
The U of C said it is currently looking to hire about 200 seasonal employees.
With files from Tracy Nagai