Long-term shifts in the Alberta job market
Although down from their peak in 2014, there were 25,808 more mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector jobs in 2019 than in 2001
By ATB Economics 1 April 2021 1 min read
Yesterday’s Owl looked at changes in the number of payroll jobs in the province over the last year. With the pandemic and oil price crash in play, the number of employees was down by 10.4 per cent in January 2021 compared to 2020. The sectors with the greatest exposure to public health restrictions were down the most.
Today’s Owl takes a longer view and examines some of the big changes that have happened since 2001.
One of the first things that stands out is higher growth in the service sector. Comparing 2001 (when the data series begins) to 2019 (before the distorting effects of the pandemic), jobs in the goods producing sector increased by 32 per cent (99,690) versus 45 per cent (494,210) in the service sector.
Although down from their peak in 2014, there were 25,808 more mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector jobs in 2019 than in 2001 for an increase of 35 per cent. (The oil price crash erased 11,521 oil and gas jobs in 2020.)
Payroll jobs in all but two major industry categories grew between 2001 and 2019: jobs in the manufacturing sector were down by 5 per cent (6,156) and jobs in the information and culture sector were down by 1 per cent (365).
The major sector that experienced the largest increase in both absolute and percentage terms was health care and social assistance. There were 95,012 more jobs in this sector in 2019 than in 2001 for an increase of 77 per cent. Within this sector, growth was the strongest among community care facilities for the elderly, which added 14,324 positions (+351 per cent).
At the other end of the continuum, one of the hardest hit industries was newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers. In 2001, there were 5,863 payroll employees in this industry. By 2019, it was down to 1,740 for a drop of 70 per cent. Another 416 jobs were lost in 2020.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Prince Edward Island had the lowest seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings in January 2021 at $955.37.
Today’s trivia question: Which newspaper is older: the Calgary Herald or the Edmonton Journal?