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Private sector driving Alberta's job creation

Private sector driving Alberta's job creation

Posted on: 7/9/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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Alberta’s labour market has been growing in 2018, albeit at a pace that some may find frustrating. According to Statistics Canada, the province added 33,600 new positions over the last twelve months, a gain of 1.5 per cent. Full-time employment is up 2.5 per cent, with a gain of 9,000 jobs.

The chart below describes the change in job numbers in Alberta by sector. The top four sectors—construction, oil and gas, professional and scientific positions, and manufacturing—are all in the private sector. These four industries accounted for 44,500 new jobs.

Jobs in the public sector accounted for a gain of only 5,700 jobs. If you include jobs in the quasi-public sectors of education and health care, jobs largely paid for by tax dollars, there’s been an actual loss of employment.

Government sector jobs and those in education and health care contribute to our economy's functionality just as much as those in the private sector. And while some would argue public sector jobs shouldn’t count as new employment because governments can artificially inflate the data to their political benefit, that isn't the case in Alberta right now. At the midpoint of 2018, it is the private—not public—sector that’s creating the province's new jobs.

Job growth, graph

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