Alberta’s unemployment rate saw a decrease of 0.8 percentage points in the month of February.
The latest Alberta Labour Force survey shows the province’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.9 per cent in February 2021. This is up 2.4 percentage points from the same month last year.
“The unemployment rate decreased because employment increased by 16,800 and the labour force decreased by 3,800 people from the previous month. Full-time employment increased by 14,300 while part-time employment increased by 2,600 over the same period,” the labour force survey highlights said.
“Between February 2020 and February 2021, employment decreased by 71,000. The number of unemployed Albertans increased by 59,400 over the same period.”
Alberta’s 9.9 per cent unemployment is the second highest in Canada, behind only Newfoundland and Labrador’s 15.3 per cent.
Year-over-year, employment losses in Alberta were led by the private sector at 70,500. Public sector employment increased by 5,600 while self-employment decreased by 6,100 over the same period.
In February 2021, the industries that had the most employment increases from the previous month were accommodation and food services with 19,200, trade with 4,700, and business, building and other support services with 3,600. Industries that had the most employment decreases were forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas with 3,900, public administration with 3,600 and manufacturing with 3,300.
Nationally, the economy added 259,000 jobs in February, according to Statistics Canada. The economy lost almost 213,000 jobs in January as lockdown measures erased months of gains, and marked the worst monthly declines since last April.
February’s reopenings reversed that drop with gains largely in Ontario and Quebec, and in sectors highly affected by tightened public health restrictions.
The national unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent, which is down 1.2 percentage points from the previous month. The national unemployment rate is at its lowest level since March 2020. Statistics Canada says the national unemployment rate would have been 10.7 per cent in February had it included in calculations Canadians who wanted to work but didn’t search for a job.
This month’s national gains leave the country 599,100 jobs short of where they were in February of last year, or 3.1 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
–With files from The Canadian Press