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Working trends by sector in Alberta, Part I

Working trends by sector in Alberta, Part I

Posted on: 4/26/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​Albertans pride themselves in working hard for their paycheques--and even though finding work is still a challenge for thousands of people, those who have jobs are working some long hours.

On average, employees in the province worked 30.7 hours per week in February of this year. This includes both full-time and part-time employees. That’s more than the national average of 29.4 hours. But it’s fewer hours than they worked before the recession; five years ago, Alberta workers clocked 32.1 hours.

The graph below illustrates the length of the work week by sector. Putting in the longest hours are employees in the construction sector who work an average of 37.9 hours, including four hours of overtime. Albertans working in manufacturing and oil and gas follow close behind.

Not surprisingly, workers in the energy sector saw the biggest drop in their work week over the recession. Five years ago, when oil and gas companies were scrambling to find workers, employees put in a total of 40.7 hours per week. That’s more than five hours more than they put in currently.

At the other end of the spectrum are those sectors where part-time and minimum wage jobs are more common. The shortest work week is in the accommodation and food industry (21.7 hours), about 1.8 hours fewer than 2013. Workers in the retail sector put in 26.6 hours per week, a drop of 0.4 hours compared to five years ago.

Tomorrow in Part II, The Owl will look at trends in hourly pay by sector.

Hours worked, graph​​​

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