indicatorThe Owl

Job trends by sector

Part 4 of a 5-part series on trends in Alberta’s job market

By Todd Hirsch, ATB Economics 24 June 2021 1 min read

Part 4 of a 5-part series on trends in Alberta’s job market

In parts 1-3 of this series, we looked at the job market in Alberta and saw how the overarching trend in the energy sector is different from the rest of the economy.

Today’s Owl examines the rest of the Alberta economy in more detail with the figure below showing changes in employment by sector for the last ten years, encompassing both recessions.

Employment growth has been noticeably strong in two key sectors: health care and social assistance (+39.8%) and educational services (+34.4%). Over the same time, employment fell significantly in agriculture (-30%) and accommodation and food (-29.4%). Admittedly, much of the drop in employment in accommodation and food is due to the effects of the pandemic and we should see the numbers improve as the economy reopens.

Over the last ten years, there has been little or no growth in manufacturing or resource extraction. And job creation in other key sectors of the economy—such as construction, wholesale and retail trade, and utilities—has been slightly weaker than the all-industry growth rate of 7.5%.

In the next and final segment of this 5-part series, we will group sectors together into what we call “public, traditional and emerging industries” to see what this can tell us about the high-level trends in job creation.

This series on Alberta’s labour market is drawn from “The State of Alberta’s Economy and the Path Forward” by ATB Financial Chief Economist Todd Hirsch and published in May 2021 by the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Lake Claire is the largest lake located entirely in Alberta. Lake Athabasca is bigger, but it is located in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

Today’s trivia question: Which Alberta community is home to a 42’ tall oil lamp that lights up at night?

Employment growth has been noticeably strong in health care and social assistance and educational services

Employment growth has been noticeably strong in health care and social assistance and educational services


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