Long-term unemployment in Alberta
At 37% in 2021, Alberta was the province with the highest percentage of unemployed workers in the long-term category
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 7 February 2022 1 min read
A new report from the Business Council of Alberta entitled Clearing a Path: Helping Displaced Albertans Re-enter the Workforce recommends ways to address the “persistently high rates of long-term unemployment” that have characterized Alberta since the provincial recession of 2015-16.
At 37% in 2021, Alberta was the province with the highest percentage of unemployed workers in the long-term* category. It also led the provinces in terms of unemployment lasting a year or more.
The oil price crash that began in 2014 that precipitated the recession helped push long-term unemployment levels in Alberta above the national average in 2016. This was the first time since 1976 when the modern data series began that this happened and it has been the case ever since. The same is true for people unemployed for 52 weeks or more.
As the Business Council of Alberta report notes, ”the challenge will only grow. Automation and technology are already transforming the workplace, changing the kinds of jobs available and the skills needed to do them. On top of that, the transition to a low-carbon future will only further disrupt Alberta’s labour market. Traditional, high-paying oil and gas jobs will decline, while new opportunities will be created in renewable energy, clean tech, and elsewhere. And while these new jobs are expected to be numerous, many require completely different skillsets.”
With luck and effort, actions like those suggested in Clearing a Path will bring down long-term unemployment in both Alberta and across the country.
*Long-term unemployment is defined as being out of work and looking for a job for 27 weeks or more.
Answer to the previous trivia question: The monthly sample size of the national Labour Force Survey is approximately 56,000 households, resulting in the collection of labour market information for approximately 100,000 individuals.
Today’s trivia question: How many athletes is Team Canada fielding at Beijing 2022?