Employment rate improving in western Alberta

Leader staff

In September, western Alberta’s unemployment rate dropped once again, says Alberta Labour Force Statistics. It was the second (best) lowest in the province, but still almost twice last year’s.

For economic statistics, Slave Lake, Wabasca, High Prairie, and area are part of western Alberta. The technical name is ‘Banff – Jasper – Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca – Grande Prairie and Peace River.’ It covers the western half of northern Alberta, with a tail down to the U.S. border following the Rocky Mountains. This is one of seven economic regions in Alberta.

The September 2020 Alberta Labour Force Statistics say the western Alberta Sept. 2020 unemployment rate was 11.2 per cent. Last year, it was 5.9 per cent. In both years, this was the second (best) lowest unemployment rate in Alberta. The provincial rate was 11.7 (2020) and 6.6 (2019).

The Sept. 2020 rate is lower (better) than in August. In August, western Alberta’s unemployment rate was 12.1 per cent, which was the third lowest in the province.

Since COVID-19 started, western Alberta’s position in comparison to the other seven regions in the province has fluctuated.

In February and March 2020, western Alberta was in the middle, say Alberta Labour Force Statistics. In May and June 2020, it had a record high unemployment rate and was the highest (worst) in Alberta. Since then, both the rate itself and its position in the province have improved.

Map of unemployment rate in Alberta as of September 2020. Courtesy of the Alberta government.

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