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2017 winners and losers in jobs

2017 winners and losers in jobs

Posted on: 1/8/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Alberta job seekers are finally starting to see a bit of relief, and last year ended on a high note with over 26,000 new positions in December alone. That pushed the province’s unemployment rate down to 6.9 per cent—the lowest since late 2015. For the year as a whole, Alberta’s job market grew by a respectable 55,000 jobs (+2.4 per cent), the majority of them full-time.

Which sectors were the biggest winners and which the biggest losers?

The sector adding the most jobs in 2017 was manufacturing which grew by 17,900 positions. Much of this was due to a revival of manufacturing related to the energy sector, particularly refining. But food and beverage processing also contributed. In second place was the wholesale and retail trades, followed by the natural resource sector which is almost entirely oil and gas extraction. They added 15,900 and 11,800 jobs respectively.

But not every sector expanded—and indeed some shed jobs. The sector that suffered the largest loss was health care and social services, contracting by 10,200 jobs. Professional, scientific and technical occupations fell by 5,000 jobs, and the construction sector fell by 1,400 jobs.

In 2017, private sector employment accounted for virtually all new jobs (+55,900). Jobs dependent on government spending—which includes public administration, health care and education—slipped a bit (-900). That stands in contrast to the drop in the private sector and the gain in the public sector through the 2015 and 2016 recession. Employment change in Alberta, graph

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