Central Albertans were found the hardest hit in the province by COVID-related economic impacts, according the results of a public affairs survey.
While almost one half of Albertans reported negative financial impact from the economic downturn associated with the pandemic, in central Alberta it was 57 per cent, according to a survey by ThinkHQ Public Affairs, a year after lockdowns started.
The study was done last month with 1,117 Albertans participating and was weighted to reflect age, gender and region of the province.
Edmonton residents report the lowest levels of economic disruption (39 per cent) while those living in central Alberta have been hardest hit (57 per cent), states the survey.
Half of women suffered, compared to 42 per cent of men. Sixty-one per cent of those with the most modest incomes were impacted, and 53 per cent of those with children in the home.
Older Albertans (age 55-plus) are the most insulated from the economic downturn, with only 38 per cent reporting any negative disruptions.
Almost one-half (46 per cent) of Albertans report that they have personally been negatively impacted financially by the economic downturn associated with COVID-19, compared to 52 per cent who have not.
Thankfully, 18 per cent report their financial setbacks have been “modest.” While they are worse off today than they were a year ago, they feel they should be fine, financially.
In contrast, one-in-ten (10 per cent) characterize their financial situation as “severe,” meaning they are having serious difficulties managing their budgetary commitments.
Another 18 per cent say their pocket-book challenges are “moderate,” meaning diminishing finances have created significant challenges for them, but they are managing for now.
Only one-in-ten Albertans forecast the pandemic will be over by the end of summer, while 20 per cent feel we’ll be back to normal by the end of October. Forty-six per cent of Albertans believe we will be free of COVID-19 by the end of 2021, with another 44 per cent expecting lingering COVID limitations into the new year.