The November 2020 western Alberta unemployment rate was 10.3 per cent, says the Alberta Labour Force Statistics November 2020. This was a slight decrease from October (10.8 per cent). However, as has been the case during COVID-19, it is quite a bit higher than last November 2019 (5.7 per cent).
Slave Lake, High Prairie, Peace River, Wabasca, etc. are all part of the western Alberta economic region. The technical name is Banff – Jasper – Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca – Grande Prairie – Peace River. The region covers the northwestern half of Alberta with a tail stretching along the Rocky Mountains to the U.S. border.
The provincial unemployment rate increased to 11.1 per cent, but the regional rates improved to a range from 8.8 to 11.4 per cent.
The best unemployment rate in Alberta was 8.8 per cent in Wood Buffalo – Cold Lake. However, this was still higher than the worst in November 2019: Edmonton (7). Last November, the best was Camrose – Drumheller (4.9).
Across the province, youth (aged 15 to 24) have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
Since March, the unemployment rate among this age group has continued to rise, despite an overall decrease over the last few months.
In November 2020, it was 23.6 per cent, up from 23 in October. The provincial rate for adults (25 and older) has improved. In November 2020, it was 9.2 per cent.
In the youth category, more women (24.7 per cent) were unemployed than men (22.5 per cent).
However, in the adult category and general numbers the opposite was true. Adults – men (9.9 per cent) and women (8.4) and all ages – men (11.5) and women (10.7).
In a statement about the Labour Statistics on Dec. 4, Doug Schweitzer, Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation said:
“After six months of positive job growth with an overall recovery from pre-pandemic levels of 247,000 jobs and 10,000 new private sector jobs over the last month, we have seen encouraging signs of a recovery that is a credit to small businesses across Alberta.”