Western Alberta unemployment continues to drop

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

In August 2020, the unemployment rate in western Alberta dropped to 12.1 per cent. This is 2.3 per cent less than July 2020, but 6.7 per cent higher than August 2019.

Lesser Slave Lake and Peace regions are part of the western Alberta economic zone. It is technically called Banff – Jasper – Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca – Grande Prairie – Peace River. This large zone extends from the U.S. border to the border with the Northwest Territories.

Of the seven economic regions in Alberta, western Alberta (12.1) had the third lowest unemployment rate. The lowest (best) was Lethbridge – Medicine Hat (8.6). Calgary was the highest (worst) with (14.2).

This is an improvement, however, last year (August 2019) western Alberta had the lowest unemployment rate in Alberta (5.4). The highest was 7.8 in Edmonton. This was 0.8 per cent lower than the best rate (8.6) in August 2020.

Alberta (11.8) had the second highest unemployment in Canada. The only one higher was Newfoundland and Labrador (13.1). The lowest was Saskatchewan (7.9).

The regional unemployment rates aren’t divided by age or gender. However, across the province it shows that more youth: 15 to 24 years old are unemployed than adults: 25 plus.

The overall August 2020 Alberta unemployment rate was 11.8 per cent, which was down from 12.8 in July 2020. However, for youth it remained at 27 per cent in both July and August 2020. For adults, it decreased to 9.6 per cent from 10.7 per cent. Both numbers are higher than last year. In August 2019, the general rate was 7.2 per cent. Once again, youth were higher with 13.5 per cent. Adults were lower with 6.3 per cent.

A map of Alberta divided by economic regions. Slave Lake, High Prairie, Wabasca etc. are art of the large section on the west. In August, the unemployment rate was 12.1 per cent for western Alberta.
Map courtesy of the Alberta government.

Share this post

Post Comment