Job vacancies higher in some industries than others
The accomodation and food services sector has the highest vacancy rate
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 25 September 2023 1 min read
While job vacancies are found in all industries in Alberta, they are not evenly spread across the economy.
Accommodation and food services is in the unenviable position of having both the largest number of job vacancies and the highest job vacancy rate* in the province.
As of the second quarter of 2023, there were 16,255 job openings in the sector or about 17% of all job vacancies in Alberta.
The unfilled positions in the accommodation and food services sector translate into a job vacancy rate of 9.2%. This is down from 11.4% seen in the third quarter of 2021 during the third and fourth waves of the pandemic, but still more than double the average of 4.5% across all industries.
Alberta’s construction sector is trying to keep up with the demand for housing, but has been having trouble finding the skilled workers it needs. This is reflected in a job vacancy rate of 6.5% and 12,295 openings—second only to accommodation and food services on both counts.
At the other end of the list is educational services with a vacancy rate of 1.3%, utilities at 1.7%, and finance and insurance at 2.1%.
Alberta’s job vacancy rate has fallen from its mid-2022 peak, but still remains well above its pre-pandemic level. Finding the right person, with the right skills and experience, in the right place remains a challenge.
Immigration will help fill current and future gaps. Technology, meanwhile, will cut both ways by reducing the human role in some areas while also requiring more skilled workers in others.
But, with the aging of the population continuing to drain experienced workers from the pool, finding qualified workers will remain a concern for years to come.
*The job vacancy rate is the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand; that is, all occupied and vacant jobs.
Answer to the previous trivia question: The full Moon that occurs nearest to the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon.
Today’s trivia question: As the population ages, the percentage of Canadians age 65 and over(a.k.a. seniors) will increase. According to Statistics Canada’s medium-growth scenario (M1), in what year will the ratio of seniors in the population reach 1 in 5?