Alberta lost over 300,000 full-time jobs since July

The Alberta government released their May 2020 job numbers last week, and for the first time since February, job numbers are up. But we still have a long way to go.

The Alberta government released their May 2020 job numbers last week, and for the first time since February, job numbers are up.

The net increase to jobs were up 28,200. That seems like a positive note, but it follows two months of record job losses. This barely makes a dent in the 360,900 jobs that were lost since the pandemic shut down businesses in March, reducing that number to 332,700.

All the gains were in the service sector, which saw an increase of 33,000 jobs, but they were offset by losses of 4,800 in the goods sector. As well, the increase was restricted to part-time jobs, which rose by 55,000. Full-time jobs, however, dropped buy a further 26,800.

Between July 2019—when Jason Kenney introduced his so-called Job Creation Tax Cut—and Feburary 2020, Alberta saw 4 months with drops in full-time jobs, for a total of 52,600 full-time job losses (if you account for gains made in other months). The full-time numbers have worsened dramatically during the pandemic. These new numbers make it 7 months of full-time job losses, bringing the total number of full-time jobs lost since July are 305,400.

That’s nearly 28,000 full-time jobs lost every month since last July, on average.

Despite the increase in part-time jobs, Alberta’s unemployment rate rate was 15.5%, up from 13.4% in April and the highest it’s been since at least January 1976. It’s higher now than it was during the recession of the 1980s. The increase despite the additional jobs was because more people were back looking for work after phase 1 of reopening began.

Canada also saw an increase in employment, with national jobs going up by 289,600, as restrictions eased throughout the country. Québec jobs increased by 230,900, while BC’s grew by 43,300.

The national unemployment rate, however, jumped to a record 13.7%.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 4 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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