Latest Labour Market Notes

Download the complete report: Labour Market Notes (January 2019)
Published January 4, 2019 (PDF, 916 KB)

See below for highlights from the publication.

Employment gives back some of the gains

Alberta Labour Market Indicators

Indicator Latest*
Employment 2,342,000
    Month-over-month change -16,900
    Year-over-year % change 0.9%
Alberta unemployment rate (UR) 6.4%
    Edmonton UR** 6.3%
    Calgary UR** 7.6%
Participation rate 71.6%
Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) $1,143.82
    Year-over-year % change 0.2%
Average hourly wage $31.24
    Year-over-year % change 1.5%
Job vacancy rate*** 2.0%
Source: Statistics Canada
* All data is from the December 2018 Labour Force Survey, except AWE which is the October 2018 Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, and the Job Vacancy Rate is for September 2018.
** This indicator is calculated as a 3‑month moving average and is seasonally adjusted.
*** This indicator is calculated as a 3‑month moving average and is not seasonally adjusted.

Employment reverses gains

  • Employment retreated 16,900 in December after a surge in the previous month.
  • Both full-time and private sector employment, which saw outsized gains in November, pulled back significantly. Full-time employment erased nearly all of November’s gain (-36,200), overshadowing gains in part-time work (+19,300).

Private sector pulls back

  • Private sector employment also retreated sharply (-15,700) after climbing to a 3-year high in the previous month, while public sector employment also eased (-1,700).
  • Conversely, self-employment advanced marginally (+500) after declining in 3 of the previous 4 months.

Service sector leads retreat

  • Employment in both the service (-11,400) and goods (-5,500) sectors retreated on the heels of last month’s solid gains, with 9 of the 16 industries reporting declines.
  • Industries that recorded the most notable losses were construction (-8,600), finance, insurance and real estate (-5,100), and public administration (-5,700).
  • Employment in the natural resource industries also fell (-1,600) after last month’s modest gain.
  • Conversely, manufacturing saw solid gains for the second month in a row (+6,100).

Unemployment rate inches higher

  • Despite the sharp pullback in employment, the unemployment rate only ticked up 0.1 percentage point to 6.4% as the labour force participation rate fell back to the May 2018 level of 71.6%.

Year-over-year growth moderates

  • With the monthly decline, employment growth slowed in December compared to the same period last year.
  • Year-over-year growth moderated to 0.9% or 21,600 jobs in December falling from an average of 2.3% in the previous 3 months.

Earnings edge up

  • Average weekly earnings (AWE) rose $4.29 in October to $1,144, rebounding from a loss in September.

Employment growth by province

Year-over-year % change - December 2018 vs. December 2017

Employment growth by province - Year-over-year % change
Source: Statistics Canada

Labour InSight

The “Labour InSight” section covers a labour market topic in more detail.

2018 Labour Market Year in Review

Building on last year’s improvement, Alberta’s labour market continued to make headway in 2018. Average annual employment rose by 43,800 or 1.9%, compared to 1.0% in 2017, and the unemployment rate improved. Employment was underpinned by a rotation to full-time and private sector gains.

This Labour InSight looks at the trends in Alberta’s labour market in 2018.

Download the complete report: Labour InSight (January 2019)
Published January 4, 2019 (PDF, 916 KB)

Archive

2018

Issues prior to 2018

Labour Market Notes Archive (August 2012 to current)

Sign up for updates

Subscribe to get our economic publications by email

 

Contact

Contact for Labour Market Notes

Victor Jiang, Manager, Macroeconomic Forecasting
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
Phone: 780-427-7543
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: Victor.Jiang@gov.ab.ca

Contact for Labour InSight

Robert Van Blyderveen, Economist
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
Phone: 780-638-5628
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: Robert.Vanblyderveen@gov.ab.ca