Alberta had 33,800 unfilled jobs in the first quarter of this year as its job vacancy rate fell by 0.1 per cent to 2.1 per cent, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Help Wanted report released on Wednesday.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Alberta had 37,100 vacant jobs.
In Canada, the private sector job vacancy rate advanced again in the first quarter of the year, reaching 3.3 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point from the previous quarter, and 435,000 jobs sat vacant for at least four months during the first quarter of 2019.
“The national vacancy rate has been steadily climbing for the past two years and it reached another record high last quarter,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist, in a news release.
“The rate of growth is slowing compared to this time last year, but employers in Quebec, B.C. and Ontario are having a harder and harder time finding workers, especially in the smallest businesses.”
CFIB said that in most provinces, labour shortages were a bigger concern for skilled positions rather than semi-or unskilled ones. Vacancy rates exerted a strong pressure on wage levels – employers with at least one vacant position expected that they would increase average organization-wide wage levels by 2.2 per cent, compared to 1.3 per cent for those with no vacant posts, it said.
Quebec had the highest job vacancy rate in the country at 4.1 per cent.