Employment across the country declined by more than a million last month, but the numbers put out Thursday morning (Apr. 9) don’t tell the whole story.
Stats Canada released it’s Labour Force Survey for March showing a national jobless rate of 7.8%. That’s up over 2% from the month before and the largest one month in increase since 1976.
The agency though says the numbers were compiled during the week of March 15th to 21st, 2020 just as job losses were starting due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The April survey, which will be released early next month (May 6), will no question indicate the full impact of all this.
Locally, the Lethbridge-Medicine Hat unemployment rate in March jumped to 5.2%. That’s a sizable increase from 4.6% in February. Red Deer though has the most staggering jobless rate in the province at the moment, more than double ours, at 10.2%
Provincially, the employment picture isn’t good as expected. Alberta’s jobless rate increased to a whopping 8.7% last month. That’s a substantial 1.5% jump month-over-month, however the maritime provinces are seeing much higher number than Alberta right now.
Newfoundland and Labrador had the March employment provincially in Canada, at 11.7% last month.
Stats Canada says these jobless numbers for March are the first in which the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is clearly visible.
Alberta Jobless Rate by Region March 2020
Lethbridge-Medicine Hat: 5.2%
Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House: 7.1%
Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River: 7.1%
Red Deer: 10.2%
Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake: 6.3%