indicatorThe Owl

Oil and gas, forestry and construction added jobs in May

Strong commodity prices helped oil and gas extraction and forestry sector jobs increase the most

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 7 June 2021 1 min read

As reported in Friday’s Owl, the total number of jobs in Alberta barely changed in May, with seasonally adjusted employment in the province down by about 1,000 (-0.04%) compared to April.

The lack of overall movement, however, masks some large differences by industry.

Rising by 7,700 (+5.6%), strong commodity prices helped oil and gas extraction and forestry sector jobs increase the most. Other strong performers included the construction sector, which added 6,900 jobs (+3.0%), and the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sector, which added 3,500 jobs (+3.1%).

At the other end of the continuum were sectors still dealing with the impact of public health restrictions including the “other services” sector, which was down by 11,400 jobs (-11.2%) and the accommodation and food services sector, which was down by 5,100 jobs (-5.1%).

It’s not clear why, but jobs in the utilities sector fell by 5,000 (-20.0%).

Despite strong revenue and net income, employment in the primary agriculture sector continued to decline due to labour shortages. Compared to February 2020, there were 12,200 fewer primary agriculture jobs in May 2021 (-24.9%).

Eight out of the 16 main sectors had employment levels above where they were just before the pandemic. The finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sector was up the most with 18,600 more jobs in May 2021 than in February 2020 (+18.8%).

Down by 57,600 jobs (-37.7 per cent), the accommodation and food services sector was the furthest behind where it was before the pandemic.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Although some dispute the claim, St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador was founded in 1497 and is often cited as the oldest city in Canada.

Today’s trivia question: According to the North American Industry Classification System, are sawmills part of the “forestry” sector or the “manufacturing” sector?

Down by 57,600 jobs, the accommodation and food services sector was the furthest behind where it was before the pandemic

Down by 57,600 jobs, the accommodation and food services sector was the furthest behind where it was before the pandemic


Economics News

Subscribe and get a quick daily snapshot of what’s happening in Alberta’s economy

Need help?

Our Client Care team will be happy to assist.

ATB Virtual Assistant
The ATB Virtual Assistant doesn't support landscape mode. Please tilt your device vertically to portrait mode.
×