CALGARY -- The province is predicting unemployment could hit 25 per cent in the coming months, a number not seen since the 1930’s.

The previous low point for unemployment was 1984 when Alberta reached 12.4 per cent unemployment, according to the province’s website.

“The end of the pandemic will not be the end of the economic downturn, the likes of which we have not seen since the 1930s,” Premier Jason Kenney said in his televised address Tuesday night.

“I cannot overstate," he added, "how grave the implications of this will be for jobs, the economy and the financial security of Albertans.”

The Conference Board of Canada estimates 26,600 energy related jobs will be lost in March and April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a crash in world oil prices.

Nexen laid off 60 per cent of its Canadian employees this week, many of them in Calgary.

Small businesses are getting some help from both the federal and provincial governments. Ottawa is rolling out a $71 billion aid package that helps businesses make payroll. Alberta is offering tax deferrals and reduced Workers Compensation premiums.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says more than 32 per cent of its members report not being able to pay their fixed costs for April.

Fresh Canada jobs numbers are to be released Thursday.