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Alberta's labour productivity, part 2

Alberta's labour productivity, part 2

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

​​As we learned in yesterday’s Owl, Alberta has the second highest level of labour productivity (real GDP per hour of work) among the provinces. Today, we examine how that productivity has been changing over time.

From 2010 to 2014, Alberta's labour productivity grew by an average of 2.5 per cent per year. Since then, productivity has decreased in three of the last four years for an average annual contraction of 0.01 per cent. Nationally, labour productivity grew by an average of 1.6 per cent over the 2010-2014 period but has averaged only 0.6 per cent growth over the last four years.

Labour productivity in Alberta’s oil and gas extraction sector has increased rather than decreased since the recession as operational efficiencies were sought and labour-intensive projects were either completed or put on hold. Labour productivity in the oil and gas extraction sector increased by an average of 1.6 per cent per year over the 2010-2014 period compared to 10.6 per cent per year since 2015.

Productivity in the “support activities for oil and gas extraction” sector has taken a somewhat different path, falling during the recession years of 2015 and 2016 but jumping by 26.2 per cent in 2017 and by another 6.4 per cent in 2018.

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