Last week, Statistics Canada released updated data on employment and average weekly earnings for each of the provinces. The new seasonally adjusted data was as of September 2022.
I figured I’d take a look to see how the job situation looks in Alberta.
This data is different from the labour force data I reported on for September, in that this specifically reports on workers who are on payroll.
Unsurprisingly, Alberta had the fourth largest number of payroll employees in Canada. After all, they do have the fourth largest population in general.
In September 2022, there were 2,064,318 payroll employees working in Alberta. The month before, that number was 2,053,906. That’s a 10,412 increase, the fourth largest increase in the country.
|Aug 2022||Sep 2022||Change||% change|
When we look at the increase as a percentage of August’s job numbers, we see that Alberta drops down to 5th place, however, surpassed by Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan.
However, Alberta had the fourth largest increase when we compare to September 2021, a year earlier and a little over a year after the province first introduced public health protections related to the pandemic.
|Sep 2021||Sep 2022||Change||% change|
As I said at the outset, this shouldn’t be that surprising, given that we have the fourth largest population in general. Alberta slides up to third place in terms of percentage change over the last year.
Here’s what job numbers look like when we compare September 2022 to September 2020, 6 months into the pandemic.
|Sep 2020||Sep 2022||Change||% change|
Alberta has seen the fourth largest increase in total jobs over the last two years, but third largest relative to the number of jobs they had in September 2020.
But look how bad things are if we go 3 years out, to June 2019, the month before the UCP cut the corporate profit tax, what they called a “Job Creation Tax Cut”.
|Jun 2019||Sep 2022||Change||% change|
Alberta’s growth in payroll employees since June 2019 was again the 4th highest of all the provinces in Canada. However, relative to where we were in June 2019, Alberta has seen the second worst job creation record of all the provinces, with an increase of only 1.76%. only Newfoundland and Labrador saw a worse percentage increase.
Keep in mind that Alberta’s population increased by 4.57%% during the same period. So the province’s population growth was more than 2.5 times faster than its payroll employee growth.
The next lowest increase was Manitoba, at 3.00%, nearly twice as large as Alberta’s.
Ontario saw an increase in over 238,000 payroll employees during the same period, over 6.5 times more than Alberta saw. BC and Québec both passed the 300,000 mark. And PEI grew their number of payroll employees by 9.12%.
Here’s how the jobs in Alberta have changed over the last 3 years, by industry.
|Jun 2019||Sep 2022||Change||% change|
|Health care and social assistance||219,069||235,500||16,431||7.50%|
|Professional, scientific and technical services||119,342||131,038||11,696||9.80%|
|Transportation and warehousing||105,622||111,679||6,057||5.73%|
|Finance and insurance||63,258||68,645||5,387||8.52%|
|Forestry, logging and support6||3,979||3,984||5||0.13%|
|Arts, entertainment and recreation||38,862||37,433||-1,429||-3.68%|
|Information and cultural industries||27,826||26,294||-1,532||-5.51%|
|Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction||101,292||97,890||-3,402||-3.36%|
|Other services (except public administration)||76,858||72,972||-3,886||-5.06%|
|Real estate and rental and leasing||42,532||38,265||-4,267||-10.03%|
|Management of companies and enterprises||21,304||16,068||-5,236||-24.58%|
|Accommodation and food services||165,027||158,639||-6,388||-3.87%|
|Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services||96,436||89,748||-6,688||-6.94%|
Only 10 out of 20 total industries have seen a net increase in payroll employees over the last 3 years. The other 10 all saw losses, the largest of which was in the “hospitality”Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services” sector, which lost nearly 6,700 payroll employees.
And that’s despite having a job vacancy rate less than the national rate.
The job vacancy rate is the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand.
And, as you can see from the above table, Alberta had the fifth lowest job vacancy rate in Canada this past September. The national rate was 5.7%.
You’d think that a province with such a low vacancy rate wouldn’t have so many jobs still missing.
In fact, according to Statistics Canada, Alberta still has 104,725 payroll employee vacancies. Seems weird that we increased our payroll workforce by less than two percent over the last 3 years.