Alberta’s unemployment rate dropped to pre-pandemic levels in December

Alberta’s unemployment rate finally hit pre-pandemic levels last month, but Calgary’s jobless rate remains among the highest in the country.

According to Statistics Canada’s December 2021 Labour Force Survey, Alberta had a jobless rate of 7.3 per cent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from November 2021.

Alberta’s unemployment rate in February 2020 – before the COVID-19 pandemic hit – was 7.5 per cent. December 2021 marked the first time since then that the province’s jobless rate was lower than that.

The survey, released on Friday, reflects labour market conditions the week of Dec. 5 to 11, just days before Alberta’s UCP government announced it would be easing the province’s health restrictions for the holidays.

“Today’s job numbers continue to tell the story that Alberta is coming back and our economic recovery is reaching the kitchen tables of Albertans,” Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer said in a statement.

“Our work to diversify our economy and ensure Alberta is the best place in the country to do business has resulted in huge investments in tech, film and television, petrochemicals and agriculture,” he continued.

“Word is spreading that Alberta is the best place to do business, and our trajectory continues to move upward.

“The economic recovery and growth we have seen over the past year positions Alberta for a strong 2022, as we are forecasted to be the economic leaders in the country.”

According to the survey, Alberta gained 130,000 jobs in December, a six per cent increase. 

Statistics Canada noted that at 64.2per cent, Alberta’s employment rate was again the highest among the provinces.

A chart showing the rise and fall of Alberta’s unemployment rate from February 2020 to November 2021, via Alberta’s Economic Dashboard.In Edmonton, the unemployment rate fell one full per cent, sitting at 6.6 per cent in December compared to 7.6 per cent in November.

Calgary’s unemployment rate remained largely unchanged in December, dropping just one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 per cent.

Calgary’s jobless rate remains one of the highest among the 34 metropolitan areas surveyed, sitting below only Saint John, N.B. and Peterborough, Ont. at 8.3 per cent and 9.5 per cent respectively.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent in December compared with 6.0 per cent in November.

View Source