Alberta adds over 37,000 jobs in March, province's unemployment rate remains one of the highest in Canada

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Alberta continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country despite adding more than 37,000 jobs in March following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Part-time jobs went up roughly 25,000 last month while full-time jobs increased by nearly 12,000, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey released Friday morning. While this brings down the province’s unemployment rate to 9.1 per cent, Alberta continues to have one of the highest rates in the country following Newfoundland and Labrador at 12.4 per cent and New Brunswick at 9.2 per cent.

Most of the jobs were in the services-producing sector, which includes educational services and professional, scientific and technical services. Alberta’s natural resources industry, which includes oil and gas, added 4,400 jobs. This is the largest jobs gains the province has seen since September where 38,200 jobs were added.

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The survey was conducted from March 14 to 20 just after Alberta began easing public health measures. During that time, the province was in Step 2 of the four-step reopening strategy and was considering moving to Step 3. These plans were put on pause following a massive spike in COVID-19 cases and a rise in variant strains of concern. 

Across the country, employment rose 303,000 in March, bringing Canada’s unemployment rate to 7.5 per cent, the lowest since February 2020.

Edmonton added 17,800 jobs last month, the largest increase since August, moving the city’s unemployment rate slightly to 11.2 per cent. The city’s employment numbers have consistently increased since July.

Calgary’s employment dropped by roughly 900, lowering that city’s unemployment rate to 10 per cent.

More to come…

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