Latest Labour Market Notes

Download the complete report: Labour Market Notes (November 2018)
Published November 2, 2018 (PDF, 932 KB)

See below for highlights from the publication.

Growing labour force pushes the unemployment rate higher

Employment dips

  • Employment dipped in October for the second month in a row after a large increase in August. It was down 2,700 positions in October.

More full-time positions

  • Full-time positions increased by 8,600, but were offset by a pullback in part-time (-11,300).
  • Since the June 2016 low, full-time positions have accounted for all of Alberta’s job gains. They have increased by 97,200 while part-time has eased (-8,800).

Unemployment rate moves higher

  • The unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 7.3%, as the labour force participation rate ticked up to a 10-month high.
  • The unemployment rate has been trending up since May 2018 as more Albertans are entering the workforce and looking for work.

Private sector pulls back from a three-year high

  • Employment in the private sector (-9,000) declined in October after two strong monthly gains.
  • Conversely, self-employment (+7,500) increased after two consecutive months of significant declines. Employment in the public sector was slightly lower (-1,200).

Service sector hits a new high

  • The service sector added 6,000 jobs in October, more than reversing the previous months decline to reach a new high.

Goods sector retreats

  • The goods sector took a step back (-8,700), as employment in the manufacturing sector declined (-5,500) and employment in the natural resource industries (-1,800) slipped for the fourth month in a row.

Broad year-over-year growth

  • Employment continues to track higher than a year ago, up 42,300 (+1.8%).
  • Over the last year, employment gains have been broad-based with strong gains in the service sector (+35,300) and solid growth in the goods sector (+7,000), and growth in 11 of the 16 industries.
  • The majority of job gains have been in full-time positions (+30,600) and led by growth in the private sector (+18,400) and self-employment (+15,500).

Earnings surge

  • Average weekly earnings (AWE) jumped 1.4% in August to $1,168. With the large monthly gain, earnings were up 3.0% year-over-year and just shy of the pre-recession peak.

Employment growth by province

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

Source: Statistics Canada

Labour InSight

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

Calgary labour market softens

Calgary’s labour market has stalled in 2018 after leading the employment recovery in 2017. With Calgary representing more than a third of Alberta’s labour market, the recent softness has overshadowed gains in many other regions and weighed on the provincial numbers. This Labour InSight examines the current trends in Calgary’s labour market.

Download the complete report: Labour InSight (November 2018)
Published November 2, 2018 (PDF, 932 KB)



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Labour Market Notes Archive (August 2012 to current)

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Robert Van Blyderveen, Economist
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
Phone: 780-638-5628
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)