Unemployment in Alberta is quickly becoming a crisis situation. Since the beginning of 2015, the unemployment rate has risen from 4.8 percent to 8.4 percent and more than 200,000 Albertans are out of work. In August 2016, Calgary’s unemployment rate was the highest in the country at 9% and Edmonton’s followed closely at 8%.

Skilled workers across Alberta are struggling to provide for their families and are being forced to leave the province to seek better opportunities for employment. The people of Alberta have worked hard for generations, and the entire nation has benefitted from Alberta’s economic strength. As Albertans, we believe that it is only fair that the Federal Government present decisive action and solutions in our time of need. Yet so far, this Liberal government has failed to put forward a jobs plan that recognizes the crisis in Alberta.

It is because of the lack of federal government action to get Albertans back to work that we have launched the Alberta Jobs Taskforce.

Over the coming weeks, the Taskforce will aim to collect information from everyday Albertans, employers, small businesses, social assistance organizations, workers and other stakeholders – all of whom are affected the current jobs crisis and have valuable insight and ideas to share.

The Taskforce will produce a report containing tangible policy solutions and budget requests, as well as draw national attention to an unemployment problem that is of growing concern to our entire country.