Alberta’s jobless rate continues dropping, dips to 9.9 per cent in February

Alberta’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend last month, dropping 0.8 percentage points to 9.9 per cent, the lowest it has been since March 2020.

According to Statistics Canada’s February 2021 Labour Force Survey, only Newfoundland and Labrador had higher provincial unemployment numbers than Alberta last month (15.3 per cent).

Read more: Canadian economy added 259K jobs in February, blowing past estimates

The Labour Force Survey, released on Friday, reflects labour market conditions the week of Feb. 14 to 20, shortly after Alberta’s UCP government eased COVID-19 health measures allowing for in-person services at restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafés.

Alberta was one of five provinces where employment rebounded in February.

Provincially, employment rose 17,000 (+0.8 per cent). Statistics Canada noted most of the overall employment increase was in accommodation and food services and coincided with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

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Read more: COVID-19 — Alberta expands rapid testing to schools, oil and gas, meat-packing plants

Nationally, Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 8.2 per cent, the lowest level since March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and down from the 9.4 per cent recorded in February.

Statists Canada said employment in the accommodation and food services industry rose by 65,000 (+7.8 per cent) nationally, driven primarily by Ontario and Alberta.

Edmonton and Calgary see unemployment rise

In Calgary, unemployment stayed steady at 10.6 per cent in February, the same as it was in January.

Edmonton’s jobless rate, meanwhile, dropped to 11.6 from 11. 9 the month before.

Edmonton’s unemployment rate was the fourth-highest in Canada among the 34 metropolitan areas surveyed, behind Barrie, Ont. (13.0), Peterborough, Ont. (12.5) and St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont. (12.4 per cent).

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A look at Calgary and Edmonton’s unemployment rates amid COVID-19

April 2020

↑ Calgary: 10.8 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 10.0 per cent

May 2020

↑ Calgary: 13.4 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 13.6 per cent

June 2020

↑ Calgary: 15.6 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 15.7 per cent

July 2020

↓ Calgary: 15.5 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 15.0 per cent

August 2020

↓ Calgary: 14.4 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 13.6 per cent

September 2020

↓ Calgary: 12.6 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 12.6 per cent

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October 2020

↓ Calgary: 11.3 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 12.0 per cent

November 2020

↓ Calgary: 10.7 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 11.3 per cent

December 2020

↓ Calgary: 10.5 per cent
↓ Edmonton: 11.4 per cent

January 2021

↑ Calgary: 10.6 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 11.9 per cent

February 2021

↑ Calgary: 10.6 per cent
↑ Edmonton: 11.6 per cent

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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