Labour Market Information




Labour Market Information
June 2019 Labour Market Information
Alberta’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6% in June2019, down 0.1% from the previous month and up 0.1% from the same month last year.
Going back a few years, Alberta's unemployment rate has remained largely flat since beginning of 2018.

Alberta employment gains top 10k in June. All provinces within the within margin of error.
This rate was the fourth highest in Canada, at par with Nova Scotia’s6.6%, and behind New Brunswick’s 7.8%, Prince Edward Island’s 9.3%, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s 13.3%. The national rate was 5.5%.

The unemployment rate decreased because employment increased by 10,400 and the labour force increased by 8,200 people from the previous month. Full-time employment increased by 36,900 and part-time employment decreased by 26,500 over the same period. Between June2018 and June 2019, employment increased by 29,800. The number of unemployed Albertans increased by 3,600 over the same period.
Year-over-year, employment gains have been led by private sector employment at 64,900. Employment in the public sector increased by16,600 while self-employment decreased by 52,100 over the same period.
The industries that had the most employment increases in June 2019from the previous month were:
  • Accommodation and Food Services, 6,800
  • Educational Services, 5,300
  • Construction, 4,200
The industries with the most employment decreases were:
  • Trade, 4,900
  • Manufacturing, 3,900
  • Business, Building and Other Support Services, 2,500
The City of Edmonton:
Unemployment rate: 7.0% (up from previous month 6.8% and up from a year ago 6.6%).
The City of Calgary:
Unemployment rate: 7.0% (unchanged from previous month and down from a year ago 7.7%).
Keep in mind, the following data will look a little different. This will go over the Calgary Economic Region (CER), meaning it includes ALL of the areas around Calgary (including Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere, Strathmore - Rocky View County, Wheatland County, etc.). Based on that, the unemployment rate for the CER will be LOWER than the unemployment rate of the City of Calgary. 
The labour market in the (CER) has improved in recent months. In June 2019, the region’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.5% from 7.1% a year ago. Total employment increased by 38,600 people, thanks to the 33,200 full-time jobs created over the past twelve months. In addition to the monthly Labour Force Survey that tracks labour supply and demand, the quarterly Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) measures unmet labour demand for Canada’s economic regions. Indicators in focus include the number of job vacancies, the job vacancy rate, and the average hourly wage offered by employers for vacant positions.
The latest JVWS shows that in Q1 2019 there were 19,175 job vacancies in the CER, up 5% from 18,190 in Q1 2018. Most of the Q1 2019 job vacancies were for sales and service occupations (5,355). The fastest annual growth was for vacancies in the natural and applied sciences and related professions (+1,595) (Chart 1). With the improving job market, the balance of labour supply and labour demand is shifting to favour workers. From Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, the CER job vacancy rate increased from 2.4% to 2.5%. The growth rate for the average hourly wage offered by employers was 14%. The fastest pace of growth was for trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations at 16%.
From Prospect's perspective:
  • Albertans leaving high paying jobs (oil and gas) for entry level labor such as construction or retail. 
  • Clients are requiring more career mentoring instead of job-specific tools.
  • Continued increase in clients experiencing crises (financially, mental health, addictions).
  • Looking for academic upgrading in order to transfer fields of employment.
  • Youth are showing unrealistic job target expectations and a lack of job searching skills.
  • Educated, experienced workers accepting low-level entry jobs (although having trouble obtaining as they are often told they are “overqualified”)
  • Older workers re-entering the workforce.
  • Mature workers lack digital literacy.
  • Marital Status changes requiring both partners to find higher paying jobs in order to maintain housing needs.
  • New Canadians who seek assistance in interviewing techniques due to language barriers.
  • Mature workers who struggle with technological barriers (digital technology, computers, cash registers) and often have limited education.
  • Albertans who find themselves losing their farms and have to re-enter the workforce and do not have some of the essential skills to attain entry level positions.
  • Skilled trades workers, with vast experience, but yet unable to attain permanent or full-time jobs, forcing them to only take contract work or seasonal employment.
  • Retirees returning to the workforce due to the cost of living.
  • Mature workers in need of transitional training (as they have physical limitations to compete in their previous industries).
  • Many highly-skilled, underemployed Albertans who are working part-time and are struggling to find full-time employment.
  • Increased technology, automation and customer experience continues to impact businesses and operations
  • Companies are trying to be as efficient as possible, due to the economy
  • Seeing a shrinking workforce and part time/contract workers are becoming more common
  • Future ready skills are becoming necessary for success - critical thinking and problem solving/communication and collaboration
  • The markets are competitive and are challenged with labour force needs because some are able to offer better benefits or compensation that others are not
  • Companies are focusing on retention - keeping the talent they have
  • Companies are receiving a LOT of applications and a lack of qualified ones. 
  • Strong growth in the IT and Financial industries
  • Again, due to min wage increases, individuals are choosing roles that pay less to avoid additional responsibilities and have more flexibility vs. middle class pay roles that haven't received an increase (more responsibilities/less flexibility)