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It’s taking longer to find work in Alberta

It’s taking longer to find work in Alberta

Posted on: 3/16/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​If you find yourself unemployed, getting back to work as soon as possible is often a priority. Unfortunately, the average number of weeks Albertans were unemployed last year was the highest it has been since at least 1976. At just over 23 weeks, the average time it took Albertans to find work in 2017 was 59.5 days longer than in 2015 (14.6 weeks). Those extra two months can feel like an eternity when you are unemployed.

And even though the economy has been growing again and the unemployment rate has been slowly coming down, the length of time Albertans are out of work was still at 22 weeks in February of this year--the highest level in the country. Alberta went from the second shortest average duration in 2015 (just behind Saskatchewan) to the longest average duration in 2017.

Particularly alarming is that the percentage of unemployed Albertans who are out of work for a year or more has doubled since 2015, going from 7.8 per cent (11,600 individuals) to 15.6 per cent (30,300 individuals).

These numbers are another reminder that, even though the recession is behind us, its negative effects continue to linger and make life difficult for many Albertans.

Duration of unemployment, graph​ ​​​

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