According to data from Statistics Canada the unemployment rate in the oilsands region near Wood Buffalo and Cold Lake has jumped up to 9.3%, showing a 0.3% increase over the rate in January of 2016 and causing even more stress and worry for residents and companies who live or work in the region. During the same period one year ago the rate of unemployment in the area is one third higher now than it was then. Around 1,000 people in the region lost jobs in the last month, with 1,500 full time jobs disappearing and only 500 part time jobs being created. The 9.3% unemployment rate is the highest in the Alberta province and it shows how falling oil prices have impacted an area which depends in part on the natural resource industry to thrive.
A national average unemployment rate of between 702% and 7.3%, so the oilsands region has a rate that is around a full 2% higher than the national average. According to a statement released by the Wildrose party the higher rate of unemployment is a direct “indictment of NDP policies. The NDP needs to show it’s taking job loss numbers seriously by accepting job-creation solutions from across the aisle and scrapping its failed jobs subsidy program.” It is no secret that the oilsands region has been impacted by the slowing economy and falling oil prices more than many other areas, and charitable organizations and food banks in the region have seen an increase in need and demand as a result.