Did Alberta really lose 180,000 jobs under Rachel Notley?

Kim Siever investigates this claim that the UCP keep making.

Earlier this month, Alberta premier, Danielle Smith’s current premier, sent out this tweet.

In it, she claims that under the NDP, Alberta lost 180,000 jobs.

That tweet was retweeted by Rebecca Schulz, the UCP MLA for Calgary-Shaw and the minister of municipal affairs, as well as Nicholas Milliken, the UCP MLA for Calgary-Currie and the minister of mental health and addiction. Rick Wilson, the UCP MLA for Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin and the minister of Indigenous relations also retweeted it, as did Pat Rehn, the UCP MLA for Lesser Slave Lake.

And that’s not counting the nearly 900 retweets that tweet saw.

Kaycee Madu, the UCP MLA for Edmonton-Southwest, who also serves as the deputy premier and the minister of skilled trades and professions, sent out his own tweet with that figure.

With so many members of our legislative assembly sharing this figure, surely it must be true, right?

Well, I thought I’d take a look.

According to labour force data published by Statistics Canada, there were 2,259,400 people employed in Alberta in April 2015, the month before the NDP took power.

In April 2019, however, the month that the UCP took power, there were 2,287,300 people employed in the province.

That means that during the 4 years the NDP were in power, the number of people working in Alberta actually saw a net increase of 27,900.

So, if Alberta saw an increase of nearly 30,000 jobs while the NDP were in power, where does this 180,000 number come from?

Honestly, I have no idea.

Here, take a look at the monthly job numbers for while the NDP were in power.

You can clearly see a drop in the number of people employed in Alberta during the first year the. NDP were in power. But even then, it wasn’t a loss of 180,000.

When the number of employed Albertans bottomed out in June 2016, it dropped to 2,178,500, a loss of 80,900 from April 2015. That’s still nearly 100,000 short of the number the UCP claimed.

And as you can clearly see, the number of employed Albertans increased after that point and, as I pointed out earlier, even surpassed the April 2015 benchmark by July 2018.

Let’s take a look at the change in employed Albertans in graph form.

The largest drop in employment in a single month was May 2016, when 21,500 people lost their jobs. Definitely not 180,000.

Here’s the thing: even if we ignore all the months with gains in employment and add up all the months with losses, we still get only a loss of 159,000 people employed in Alberta.

So, honestly, I have no idea where the UCP are getting this idea that 180,000 people lost their job while the NDP were in office.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

One reply on “Did Alberta really lose 180,000 jobs under Rachel Notley?”

It’s not the lying liars telling lies again, is it?

Conversely, were the job gains the credited themselves with correct?
It seems they’re cherry picking the numbers reported to make themselves look good, pretty standard political BS.
At least our lead liar (the premier) is seeming to act a bit nervous about caught in a big lie by CBC. Her team is hiding tweets on her feed that dispute her statement but notice she’s not suing CBC for defamation?

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