With today's release of the February labour force statistics, it has become clear that Alberta is no longer immune from the recession that is hitting across the world, says the Alberta Federation of Labour. Alberta lost 24,000 jobs in February, causing a full 1% jump in the unemployment rate - the largest jump in the country.
"If anyone doubted it before, they aren't now - Alberta is in recession," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "The rate of job loss is very concerning."
Up until now, the government has been downplaying the potential impact of the economic crisis on Albertans, says McGowan. "Talk of Alberta being �shielded' from the brunt of the crisis is proving to be nothing but wishful thinking."
"The government needs to stop covering its eyes from the economic carnage building around them," says McGowan. "We need immediate action to help protect jobs in Alberta.
McGowan is particularly concerned that job losses are no longer confined to the construction and energy sectors. "Manufacturing shed 11,000 jobs last month. Retail lost 7,500 jobs. This says to me that the crisis is spreading to all sectors of Alberta's economy. And that is worrying."
McGowan is calling on the government to develop and implement a stimulus package that would focus on building key public infrastructure and keep Albertans working during the downturn.
"The government's dithering leaves us months behind other jurisdictions in responding to the crisis, but better late than never," says McGowan.
"The total job loss is now above 36,000 jobs in the last three months. How many more Albertans must lose their livelihood before this government acts?" asks McGowan.
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For more information call:
Gil McGowan, AFL President @ 780.483-3021 (office) or 780.218-9888 (cell)