Local employment highest since COVID-19 began, Alberta unemployment among Canada's highest

·2 min read

October’s employment numbers for the census region covering Wood Buffalo showed an increase of 700 jobs.

According to Statistics Canada data released Friday, October’s local employment rate was 68.9 per cent. This is the highest employment rate the region has seen since COVID-19 lockdowns began in March, when employment was 70.2 per cent. Local unemployment dropped by 1.5 per cent to 9.9 per cent. In March, unemployment was 6.3 per cent.

Full-time positions have seen a decrease of 200 jobs in October and 2,000 positions since March. Part-time positions have seen an increase of 900 jobs in October and 5,000 positions since March.

The retail sector continues to struggle after losing 100 jobs in October and 1,300 positions since March.

Industries with the highest employment increases include transportation, educational services, and health care and social assistance.

Transportation saw an increase of 300 jobs in the past month and an increase of 600 jobs since March. Since October 2019, the transportation industry has seen an increase of 100 jobs.

Educational services have increased by 200 jobs in October, returning it to levels last seen in March. There is an overall increase of 200 jobs since October 2019.

Health care and social assistance saw an increase of 200 jobs in October with an overall increase of 600 jobs since March. Health care positions in the region have increased by 1,100 since October 2019.

The construction industry saw an increase of 100 jobs in October and 600 jobs since March. There are still 900 fewer jobs in this sector since October 2019, though.

Some industry sectors saw a monthly decrease in jobs, but has still shown job increases since the COVID-19 pandemic begin in March.

The industrial sector that covers oilsands jobs lost 200 positions in October but has jumped by 200 jobs since March.

The sector covering accommodations and food services lost 100 jobs in October but has gained 300 jobs since March.

At the provincial level, 23,400 jobs were added in October, continuing a six-month-long streak. But while Alberta has consistently added jobs over the past few months, the province is still the farthest away from where it was before COVID-19.

Nationally, Canada added 84,000 jobs last month. This was significantly lower than September’s 378,000 new jobs. Unemployment in Canada was relatively unchanged at 8.9 per cent. Only Newfoundland and Labrador had a higher unemployment rate than Alberta last month as it sat at 12.8 per cent.

Canada added 84,000 jobs last month, significantly lower than September’s 378,000 gains. The national unemployment rate remained relatively unchanged at 8.9 per cent.

Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today