Over 8,000 Alberta women lost their job last month

Alberta gained 14,000 full-time jobs overall, but that was barely enough to cover the loss of 13,100 seen in August.

The federal government released their October 2022 job numbers last week, and job numbers are up in Alberta.

The net increase to jobs between last month and August was 6,900. That’s the second increase in total jobs in a row.

Among workers 25 years of age and older, men workers saw the larger job increases between September and October. There were 9,900 more men over 25 back at work last month compared to September. That number jumps to 15,100 if you include those who are 15–24 years old.

On the other hand, only 300 more women over 25 were employed in October over the previous month—but that changes to 8,300 fewer women if you include the younger group.

Statistics Canada provided no data on non-binary workers.

Here’s how Alberta’s new jobs compare to the other provinces:

Sep 2022Oct 2022Change% change

Alberta saw the 4th largest increase in total jobs, which we’d expect, given that it has the 4th largest population in the country. However, their increase, relative to the number of employed workers in September, was actually the second lowest.

In Alberta, 11 job sectors saw job gains for October (with “Wholesale and retail trade” seeing the highest gains: 3,900).

The 5 remaining sectors reported by Statistics Canada saw job losses in Alberta:

  • Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (-3,300)
  • Transportation and warehousing (-2,400)
  • Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (-2,200)
  • Utilities (-2,100)
  • Business, building and other support services (-1,800)

Combined, these 5 industries lost 11,800 jobs.

Labour Force Survey in brief: Interactive app, Statistics Canada

Compared to a year ago, the industry with the highest job losses was “educational services”. “Professional, scientific and technical services” saw the largest increase over the last year.

Professional, scientific and technical services33,40017.48%
Wholesale and retail trade23,9006.77%
Accommodation and food services15,70013.05%
Other services (except public administration)13,50014.72%
Health care and social assistance11,3003.75%
Information, culture and recreation8,40012.21%
Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas-1,000-0.71%
Business, building and other support services-1,500-2.07%
Public administration-2,000-1.85%
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing-2,200-1.82%
Transportation and warehousing-5,100-3.76%
Educational services-11,300-6.60%

The report shows that Alberta’s private sector grew by 7,300 between September and October. There were 112,300 more private-sector jobs than this time last year. Public sector jobs were down by 8,800 over September but lower than October 2021 by 21,700. Self employed jobs were up by 8,400 over September but but up by 26,500 over October 2021.

Full-time jobs made up all of the job gains last month. Alberta gained 14,000 full-time jobs (seasonally adjusted) between September and October, but they lost 7,200 part-time jobs.

There were only 200 women full-time workers who gained jobs last month. By comparison, the number of men who worked full-time grew by 13,900 during the same period.

In June 2019, the month before the Job Creation Tax Cut came into effect, there were 1,886,700 people working full-time. Last month, there were 1,930,700. That means that there are 44,000 more full-time jobs than there were before the UCP cut the tax on corporate profits.

That being said, full-time jobs still make up a smaller percentage of total jobs now than they did before the Job Creation Tax Cut. In June 2019, full-time jobs made up 82.5% of all jobs in the province. Last month, they were at 81.1%.

While we technically have more full-time jobs than we did 3 years ago, those jobs haven’t kept up with population growth, which means more people are working part-time jobs, relative to the number of people employed in Alberta.

Speaking of full-time jobs, wages for full-time workers were up 23¢ last month, from an average of $35.09 an hour in September. This marks 3 months of wage increases in Alberta, but they’re still lower than they were in April, when they sat at $35.86.

Part-time wages also increased, from $22.50 an hour in September to $23.72 in October.

The average wage for both full-time and part-time jobs increased to $33.25 an hour last month from $32.85 in September.

By industry, wages increased in 9 of the 16 reported sectors. However, the following sectors saw wage decreases:

Sep 2022Oct 2022Change
Professional, scientific & tech serv.$43.09$42.97-$0.12
Information, culture & recreation$30.32$30.22-$0.10
Bus., building & other support serv.$23.55$23.48-$0.07
Educational services$36.16$36.13-$0.03

When we compare wage growth of all the provinces over the previous month, Alberta saw the third largest increase in wages, coming behind only BC and Saskatchewan.

Sep 2022Oct 2022Change

Alberta’s unemployment rate was 5.2%, down from 5.5% in September.

The participation rate decreased from 69% to 68.8%, which means a smaller percentage of the employable population participated in the labour force last month than there were in August. And if fewer people are participating in the labour force, it’ll lead to a lower unemployment rate.

As far as how it compares with the rest of the country, Alberta’s unemployment rate is sixth highest. It was surpassed by all the Atlantic provinces (5.4% through 10.3%) and Ontario (5.9%). Alberta’s neighbours—BC and Saskatchewan—are at 4.2% and 4.6%, respectively. Québec had the lowest unemployment rate, more than a full percentage point lower than Alberta’s.

Canada saw an increase in employment last month, with jobs across the country jumping up by 108,300, the bulk of which occurred in Ontario, which increased by 42,700 jobs. Alberta was a distant fourth, gaining 6,900 jobs, preceded by Québec and BC, which gained 27,800 and 9,800, respectively.

The national unemployment rate sat at 5.2%, unchanged from September’s 5.2%.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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