Group layoffs in Alberta surge past 18,000 workers

Pam Sharpe, of Alberta’s Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour ministry, said eight layoff notices affecting 2,206 employees have been received in November. Employers are required to notify the government of layoffs involving 50 or more people at a single location.

The province has received 114 group layoff notices affecting 18,006 workers this year. By comparison, 62 notices affecting 11,694 employees were submitted for all of 2013 and 2014.

“Of the 18,006 employees impacted this year, approximately 78 per cent are related to layoffs by the oil and gas sector and other manufacturing and services companies related to the sector.”

Statistics Canada last week reported the number of Albertans receiving regular employmentinsurance benefits has nearly doubled from a year ago. It said the Calgary-area beneficiaries in September rose by 95 per cent, or 9,140 people, from September 2014. On a monthly basis, recipients rose by 1,340, or 7.7 per cent, from August.

Provincially, the number of EI recipients was up 99 per cent, or 28,830 people, from a year earlier, and by 9.1 per cent, or 4,860, for the month.

Last week, TransCanada Corp., Enbridge Inc. and city-owned Enmax Corp. were the latest companies to confirm layoffs as the provincewide economic slowdown blamed on low commodity prices hits pipeline and utility sectors.

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