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Alberta has the highest participation rate in Canada

Alberta has the highest participation rate in Canada

Posted on: 5/3/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

The participation rate is the labour force (those working and looking for work) expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over.

Alberta has had the highest participation rate of any province every year since at least 1976 (when the current data series begins). At 72.4 per cent, Alberta’s participation rate was 6.6 percentage points higher than the national average in 2017.

There are two main reasons for this.

First, Alberta has a relatively young population. Our province has a smaller proportion of seniors and a larger proportion of people in their prime working years. As a result, Albertans are more likely to be working or looking for work than in provinces with older population profiles.

The second reason is Alberta’s strong economic base. Employment opportunities in the province—even during downturns—draw more people into the labour force and keep them there. It’s one thing to have a relatively young population, but you also need jobs for potential workers to fill.

For more analysis of Alberta’s labour force, see the newly released Perch. Subscribe to receive future editions.

Perch, graph​​​​

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