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Jobs on the rise, but experts still concerned

Last Updated Dec 4, 2020 at 5:13 pm MDT

A flare stack lights the sky along refinery row in Edmonton Alta, on Friday December 28, 2018. The head of Alberta's society of professional biologists is taking issue with the province's suspension of environmental monitoring over COVID-19 fears. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – With many people out of work at the beginning of the pandemic, the job market is now rebounding according to Calgary economic development.

The mining and oil and gas extraction and educational services sectors saw the biggest increases along with finance, insurance, and real estate.

President and CEO of Calgary Economic Development (CED) Mary Moran says the removal of the Coal Policy Act in the spring has helped.

“Measures that were put in place, or the lack of measures that were put in place in the mining industry would be spurring some of that growth.”

However, while it helped in the short team, she adds there may not be sustainable growth.

“Even though there might be another boom in the energy industry, it’s just not going to be the job creator that it once was.”

Moran adds the government opening its arms to welcome in tech companies could really benefit the province.

“You can build and not just survive here but thrive here as a tech ecosystem,” Moran said.

“We still have a lot of work to do and we’re absolutely delighted because we’ve been on this path for quite a few years and to have the government of Alberta aligned with our vision is really important.”

She says while Alberta is trailing other provinces in that sector, they do have a lot to offer.

“I’m encouraged with what’s happening in the tech ecosystem and I think it’s a great opportunity for Calgary and Alberta, but we have a lot of other work to do too.

“I think the tech sector is on its way to pretty rapid growth.”

However, she says that tech won’t solve all of the province’s problems as it needs to improve diversification and attract larger companies.

She adds that even though malls have been busy, jobs are still being lost.

“We’re quite concerned about that and how much will be disbursed or re-deployed to online shopping and so we can’t do enough to encourage people to buy local and support some of the local businesses here,” Moran said.

“They need help during this time.”

In its latest report, CED says more than 10 thousand jobs were added in the region in November.