Average duration of unemployment in Alberta eclipses 20 week mark
Data collected by the University of Calgary’s The School of Public Policy shows unemployed Albertans are, on average, out of work for nearly 21 weeks, a duration nearly three times longer than the average from 10 years ago.
The report released Wednesday indicated that, as of October 2018, the average unemployed Albertan was out of work for 20.9 weeks. In October 2008, the average was 7.4 weeks.
“The government needs to recognize that there are people left behind and we need to be targeting social policies more towards helping those who have been left behind,” said Ron Kneebone, The School of Public Policy’s director of economic & social policy.
Kneebone encourages the government to extend the duration of employment insurance benefits to assist people who have been unable to secure jobs.
The report identifies the financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the fall in the price of oil in 2014 as the two biggest factors in the increased duration of unemployment and warns consistently low oil prices will likely exacerbate social issues.