indicatorThe Owl

Employment in Alberta finally passed its pre-pandemic level in September

But more people looking for work pushed up the unemployment rate

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 8 October 2021 1 min read

Please note: There will be no Owl on Monday or Tuesday. Happy Thanksgiving!

The number of seasonally adjusted jobs in Alberta increased by 0.9% (19,600) in September* and, after 19 months, finally rose above the pre-pandemic level set in February 2020.

This is positive news, but it’s tempered by the fact that employment is only 0.2% (3,700) higher than it was before the pandemic. Full-time employment is yet to catch-up at 0.2% (3,500) below its pre-pandemic level while the number of part-time jobs is 1.7% (7,200) higher.

Despite the overall job growth, more people entering the labour force but unable to find work pushed up the provincial unemployment rate from 7.9% in August to 8.2% in September.

At the same time, the employment rate** remained a full point below its pre-pandemic level (64% in September 2021 versus 65% in February 2020).

Nationally, employment grew by 0.8% (157,100) in September to match its pre-pandemic level for the first time. The national unemployment rate improved, falling from 7.1% in August to 6.9% in September.

*September Labour Force Survey data reflect labour market conditions during the week of September 12 to 18.

**The employment rate is the number of employed persons expressed as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and over.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Not including the territories, Manitoba has the largest Indigenous population as a percentage of its total population (18.3% in 2016).

Today’s trivia question: Why is Canadian Thanksgiving earlier than American Thanksgiving?

Alberta's unemployment rate went from 7.9% in August to 8.2% in September

Alberta's unemployment rate went from 7.9% in August to 8.2% in September

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