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Alberta coming out of recession

Alberta coming out of recession

Posted on: 9/11/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Part One: Employment trends by gender

There’s no question the recession of 2015-16 was difficult for thousands of workers. At the worst of it, Albertans suffered double-digit unemployment. A breakdown in employment trends between female and male workers now shows an interesting pattern during that time.

In the two years of deteriorating economic conditions (roughly August 2014 to August 2016), female employment actually grew by 1.5 per cent while male employment plunged by 2.4 per cent. Now that Alberta’s economy is gradually improving, the tables have turned. Over the last twelve months, female employment grew at a much lower rate, expanding only half a per cent. Men, however, have seen jobs snap back by a strong 2.3 per cent.

The explanation for this can be partially explained by the sectors that were most affected during the recession. Among the hardest hit industries were oil and gas, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing—all sectors that tend to skew towards male employees. Jobs in health care, social services, education and retail—jobs that tend to skew towards females—continued to grow.

Now that the economy is improving, male-dominated industries have been the strongest job creators. Employment in the resource sector alone is up 8,600 jobs from a year ago (+6.3 per cent). Transportation and manufacturing are each up about 10 per cent. Conversely, jobs in education (-4.5 per cent) and health and social services (-0.6 per cent) are lower year-over-year.

Tomorrow, The Owl will look at job trends for young workers in Alberta.>

Alberta job trends by gender, graph​ ​​

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