Posted on May 7, 2021


EDMONTON - Almost 13,000 jobs were lost in April as Alberta became the COVID-19 hotspot in Canada and the United States, according to numbers released by Statistics Canada today.

The Labour Force Survey was conducted from April 11 to 17, which means the data does not reflect any of the recent public health restrictions that were introduced to address the soaring number of COVID cases in Alberta that led to the highest infection rate among all provinces and US states. 

“Jason Kenney and his UCP government failed to act, and Alberta families and businesses are paying the price,” said NDP Critic for Economic Development and Innovation Deron Bilous. “While Kenney was focused on the revolt within the UCP, the virus has hurt our economy and left thousands of Albertans unemployed. This failure to act means the economic impact will be deeper and further delay the recovery.”

While the unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 per cent in April, that was due to 17,200 Albertans leaving the workforce. And despite the slight drop in unemployment, Alberta still has the second highest unemployment rate in the country, after Newfoundland.  

This comes after recently released data from Statistics Canada showed Alberta had the worst performing economy in the country in 2020, with an 8.2 per cent drop in gross domestic product.  

“Jason Kenney will always blame others for his failure to protect jobs and the economy, but every other province has faced this global pandemic. The only difference has been Kenney’s inability to step up to the challenge and lead in this difficult time,” said Bilous. 

“If we want to get through this third wave and start building towards a recovery, we need to support small businesses and workers. That means effectively enforcing public measures, helping small businesses with costs associated with health restrictions, and offering paid sick leave so Albertans don’t have to work sick.”