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Alberta unemployment rate could hit 25 per cent: Kenney

Province doing well in COVID-19 fight, but economy is taking a beating


Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks to members of the media at Calgary International Airport in March. (Photo courtesy of Premier of Alberta's office)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has a grim prediction for workers in his province.

He says there may well be 25 per cent unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has told an energy industry conference that the total could be even higher.

“The shutdown in much of our economy is having a devastating impact,” Kenney said. “Based on some polling that we’ve done and some analysis, I fully expect unemployment in Alberta to be at least 25 per cent — at least half a million unemployed Albertans.

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And he says the figure doesn’t fully account for the impact of the oil-price collapse on Alberta’s fossil-fuel-powered economy.

At the same time, he told energy industry leaders that Alberta is doing well in its fight against the virus.

He says the province’s rate of hospitalizations is less than half that of other large provinces.