Alberta is farther behind pre-pandemic employment levels than any other province in Canada except Manitoba, according to the latest labour force survey from Statistics Canada.
In February of last year, the unemployment rate sat at 7.2 per cent, while employment was 65.4 per cent.
By December, unemployment was holding steady at 11 per cent and so too was employment at 61.4 per cent.
Out of the provinces, only Newfoundland and Labrador matched its pre-pandemic employment rate from February.
Alberta’s unemployment rate has been holding steady around 11 per cent since peaking in May and June at 15.5 per cent before falling in July.
Prior to the pandemic, Alberta’s unemployment rate had not reached the double digits in the past 20 years.
“Employment declines were most notable in information, culture and recreation; construction; and accommodation and food services, while more people were working in business, building and other support services,” according to a breakdown by Statistics Canada.
Across the country, December marked the first decline in employment since April.