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The facts on employment in Alberta: Part 1

The facts on employment in Alberta: Part 1

Posted on: 4/8/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team


Getting a clear understanding of labour force fluctuations can be tricky business. To do so, we consider two of Statistics Canada’s major monthly reports on the job market: the Labour Force Survey and the Survey of Employment, Payroll and Hours.

The Labour Force Survey, shown by the blue line in the graph below, includes people working for themselves and contract workers. It offers the fullest description of how many individuals are “working,” that is, performing tasks for pay.

The number of people working in January of this year was up 0.6 per cent from the peak reached prior to the recession, and up 3.5 per cent from the bottom of the recession.

The Survey of Employment, Payroll and Hours, shown by the red line in the graph, asks businesses how many employees they have on their payroll. The gap between the two lines is roughly the number of people who are self-employed or working contract jobs.

There are 3.2 per cent fewer people employed by companies compared to pre-recession highs. But, since the bottom of the recession, employment is up 3.6 per cent.

While these two reports help give us an idea as to how many people are working or are employed by companies, it doesn’t give us much information about the quality of jobs. Tomorrow, The Owl will explore trends in full-time and part-time work.

Employment, graph​​​

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