Long-Term Unemployment & Workforce Transition

Supporting Alberta’s workers through transition and transformation

Albertans are struggling more than other Canadians to find work.

Alberta’s labour market is in turmoil. This past year, over 50,000 Albertans were unemployed for a year or more, and many of those people are unlikely to re-engage even as employers in Alberta face labour shortages. That’s why we created the Task Force on Long Term Unemployment and Workforce Transition to help Albertans and the economy, and to ensure Albertans have the skills needed to succeed in the future of work. The Task Force’s final report outlines key recommendations to support those goals.

Clearing a Path: Helping Displaced Albertans Re-enter the Workforce

Final report of a two-part series exploring long-term unemployment in Alberta, overarching trends and challenges, and potential solutions.

For many years, Alberta’s economic story has been one of booms and busts, and for the most part, those who found themselves out of work could typically find another job relatively easy.

In 2014, that story changed. After the oil price crash, Alberta’s unemployment rate spiked, and the province has struggled to recover ever since. Now, sadly, Alberta has the highest rate of long-term unemployment in Canada.

Albertans are facing additional headwinds on the path to recovery—enduring COVID-19 impacts; the transition to a low-carbon economy which is transforming long-standing employment pathways in the province; the future of work, technology, and automation; and changing skills needed for the jobs of the future.

We need a plan to ensure that Albertans are supported through these transitions, are engaged in the workforce, and have the skills they need to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.

About the Task Force

The Task Force on Long-term Unemployment and Workforce Transition develops policy and public-private sector program recommendations to help address long-term unemployment and workforce transition in Alberta and to get unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged workers back into productive roles, or to help them transition to other entrepreneurial ventures.

Work and Publications

The Task Force is releasing a series of papers outlining the challenges Alberta’s displaced workers are facing and identifying the potential solutions to address long-term unemployment and create the right opportunities for Albertans. The first paper—Silent Crisis: Trends and Challenges Facing Alberta’s Displaced Workers—digs into Alberta’s long-term unemployment situation and the global trends impacting the future of work. The second paper—Clearing a Path: Helping Displaced Albertans Re-Enter the Workforce—recommends industry-led and government policy solutions, to help Albertans re-join the workforce or pivot their careers in new directions, and to help businesses find and develop the workers they need.

Task Force Members

  • Becky Penrice, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, ATCO
  • Jane Fedoretz, Executive Vice President, People, Talent and Transformation, TransAlta
  • Mark Kluchky, Vice President, People, AltaML
  • Mary Beth Green, Director, Human Resources, Fort McKay Group of Companies
  • Murray Cunningham, President & Chief Executive Officer, Scott Builders


For more information on this Task Force or its work, please contact:

Mike Holden, VP, Policy & Chief Economist

Media Inquiries: media@businesscouncilab.com