Calgary

Alberta lags behind as Canada adds jobs in August

While the rest of the country saw gains in employment over the past month, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, Alberta's employment numbers were little changed, and unemployment, while lower, remains the second highest in the country. 

Province failed to see increases in employment, has second highest unemployment

Alberta failed to add jobs in August, joining New Brunswick as the only provinces not realizing growth. Pictured are the downtown areas of Calgary, above, and Edmonton. (Leslie Kramer/CBC, Manpreet Kooner)

Alberta was the second worst-performing province in attracting new jobs in August, according to new figures released by Statistics Canada. 

While the rest of the country saw gains in employment over the past month, Alberta's employment numbers were little changed, and unemployment, while lower, remains the second highest in the country. 

Alberta's employment rate inched up 0.2 percentage points for the month, better than the decline seen in New Brunswick and just under the increase of 0.3 percentage points in neighbouring B.C.

The federal agency says the unemployment rate fell by a full percentage point  to 11.8 per cent, but attributed the decline to fewer people looking for work in the province. That is down from a pandemic high of 15.5 per cent in May and June. 

The rate is significantly higher for those between the ages of 15 and 24, with 28.3 per cent of men and 25.7 per cent of women in that age bracket unemployed. 

The only province with a higher rate of unemployment across all age categories was Newfoundland and Labrador at 13.1 per cent. 

Calgary has the highest unemployment rate of any major metropolitan area in Canada at 14.4 per cent, with Edmonton in third place nationally with a rate of 13.6 per cent, narrowly besting Toronto at 13.9 per cent.

Canada as a whole gained 246,000 jobs in August, but that's still about one million less than before the pandemic struck. 

The most significant area of growth for employment in Alberta was in professional, scientific and technical services, while construction saw the greatest decline. 

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