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Alberta's labour productivity, part 1

Alberta's labour productivity, part 1

Posted on: 8/7/2019 | Author: ATB Economics

​​As of 2018, Alberta had the second highest level of labour productivity among the provinces ($78.50 per hour) after Saskatchewan ($79.90) and just ahead of Newfoundland and Labrador ($76.90). Productivity for Canada as a whole was $59.40 per hour.

The labour productivity statistics generated by Statistics Canada measure real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per hour of work broken down by province and industry. The use of real GDP rather than, for example, an industry’s annual revenues, edits out price fluctuations and ensures the value added by each industry is counted only once.

The reason Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador top the list when it comes to labour productivity is they each have relatively large oil and gas extraction sectors. The huge amount of capital investment involved in oil and gas extraction results in a large amount of output per worker.

Labour productivity in Alberta’s oil and gas extraction sector was $517.20 per hour last year. Newfoundland and Labrador’s was an astonishing $3,160.10 per hour.

When oil and gas extraction is subtracted, Alberta’s labour productivity falls to $61.90 per hour, Saskatchewan’s to $67.80 and Newfoundland and Labrador’s to $55.10.

Tomorrow, The Owl will dig into how Alberta’s labour productivity has been changing over time.

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