Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the province’s job market has “pretty much recovered” from COVID-19.
Kenney made the comments Friday shortly after the release of Statistics Canada’s July Labour Force Survey.
According to the survey, Alberta’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend last month, dropping 0.8 percentage points to 8.5 per cent.
The Labour Force Survey reflects labour market conditions from July 11 to 17, over a week after Alberta moved into Stage 3 of the province’s Open for Summer plan, lifting almost all health restrictions.
The report showed the province had created some 20,000 new full-time jobs last month.
“We now have about 26,000 more people working in Alberta than in February of 2020, before the pandemic began,” Kenny said.
“Our job market has pretty much recovered from the catastrophe of the pandemic, the global economic collapse and the collapse in Alberta energy prices.
“We believe this is partly because of Alberta being Open for Summer on Canada Day …Getting tens of thousands more people back to work, but it’s also because of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.”
Kenney said Alberta has seen over 180,000 new jobs created since the UCP launched the Alberta Recovery Plan in June of 2020.
Kenney said the numbers are a “great sign” that Alberta’s economy is “back on track.”
It’s a sentiment that Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer echoed in a stament released publicly on Friday.
“We are seeing growth and job creation across many sectors of the economy,” Schweitzer said. “That’s what the recovery plan is all about: Building on our strengths while diversifying for the future.
“Alberta’s Recovery Plan is also opening the door for new investments in hydrogen, tech and innovation, renewables, film and television, and so much more.”
He said Alberta is seeing more than 9,000 new jobs from close to $1 billion in new investment from the film and television industry – including from HBO’s The Last of Us, which he called “the largest television series production in Canadian history.”
In July, the unemployment rate in Edmonton dropped to 8.8 per cent from 9.7 per cent the month prior. However, in Calgary unemployment climbed to 9.8 per cent from 9.2 per cent in June.