How is Alberta’s job market compared to before the economic downturn began when oil prices collapsed at the end of 2014?
ATB Financial’s Economics and Research Team shed some light on the province’s labour market on Monday.
“The average number of positions was up by 2.5 per cent in 2018 compared to 2014. Unfortunately, job creation did not keep pace with demand, as Alberta’s labour force grew by 4.7 per cent over the same period,” said the financial institution in its daily economic update The Owl.
“As a result, although the unemployment rate is lower than it was during the recession, it remains higher than it was before the downturn, averaging 6.7 per cent in 2018 compared to just 4.7 per cent in 2014. That two percentage point difference in pre- and post-recession unemployment represents an average of 53,300 more unemployed Albertans in 2018 than in 2014—a rise of 47.3 per cent.”
The update also said it is important to look at the quality of jobs that have been created. Full-time jobs rose by a meagre one per cent between 2014 and 2018 while the growth in part-time positions was 10.4 per cent.
“All things considered, we want to see the creation of more full-time positions than part-time, so these numbers point to a weakening of the job market,” said ATB.
“While the number of jobs in Alberta has surpassed the pre-recession level, job growth has lagged the growth in demand and has been tilted toward part-time as opposed to full-time jobs.”