indicatorThe Owl

Jobs up in some sectors, down in others

Job creation has been uneven across industries

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 13 October 2021 1 min read

Friday’s edition of The Owl reported that seasonally adjusted employment in Alberta was 0.2% (3,700 jobs) higher in September 2021 than it was in February 2020 before the pandemic began.

The growth was not, however, evenly spread across the provincial economy with some sectors ahead of where they were before the pandemic while others remain behind (see the chart below).

The number of workers in the financial services and real estate sector was up the most at +24.2% (23,900 jobs) followed by natural resources at +10.4% (13,600 jobs) and educational services at +9.9% (15,300 jobs).

At the other end of the continuum was primary agriculture at -27.6% (13,500 jobs) below its pre-pandemic level. While it has been a tough year for some producers due to drought, the shortfall in agriculture jobs has more to do with a lack of workers—especially foreign workers—than reduced demand.

Other sectors that remain well behind their pre-pandemic employment levels include accommodation and food services at -15.6% (23,800 jobs), utilities at -14.7% (3,400 jobs), and  information, culture and recreation at -12.2% (9,900) jobs.

Answer to the previous trivia question: One of the reasons given for why Canadian Thanksgiving takes place before American Thanksgiving is the generally earlier harvest in Canada.

Today’s trivia question: What does the “stag” stand for in “stagflation?

Total employment in Alberta passed its pre-pandemic level in September 2021

Total employment in Alberta just barely passed its pre-pandemic level in September 2021

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