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Is Alberta Finally Coming Out of Recession?

Alberta Employment Growth Trends Suggest So…alberta job growth employment growth canada economy

One indicator economists frequently use to determine if an economy is going into or coming out of recession is employment.What do the trends look like for adults, youths, males, females, in specific industries, genders, etc.?

Without a doubt, the past few years have been tough on Albertans when it comes to jobs. In 2015-2016, the province saw double-digit unemployment, the highest it’s ever been. Even now levels remain higher than the long-term trend for Alberta, but it seems as if the situation is finally beginning to turn around.

Employment Trends – Male & FemalePopulation growth family chart alberta

ATB Financial identified a pattern in employment trends between males and females in recent years.

During the economic downturn from roughly August 2014 to August 2016, male employment dropped by 2.4 percent while female employment grew by 1.5 percent.

Now that the economy is slowly but surely improving, statistics show that it is now males who have seen a larger amount of employment growth at 2.5 percent while females saw a lower rate of 0.5 percent.

What’s the answer for all this?

Part of the explanation is to consider which industries were affected the most during Alberta’s latest economic recession. Those who saw the steepest declines in jobs:

  • Oil and Gas
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing

These are industries that tend to hire male employees. On the flip side, the health care, education, retail and social services industries which tend to hire females continued to grow despite recession conditions.

Jobs Bounce Back

Now that Alberta’s economy is on the up-and-up, these male-dominated industries are seeing a stronger bounce back and have become the biggest job creators. In the natural resource sector alone, jobs have increased year-over-year by 6.3 percent – that’s about 8,600 jobs.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing and transportation industries are both up by about 10 percent, while the education and health / social services sectors saw a decline of 4.5 and 0.6 percent, respectively – all based on a year-over-year comparison.

Employment Trends – Teens & Young AdultsAlberta Youth Job Prospect Young Person Working

How did people ages 15 to 24 fare during the economic recession from August 2014 to August 2016 in terms of job growth? Not so well, despite the fact that at the beginning of 2015 Alberta Job Youth Prospects Were the Best in Canada.

According to Statistics Canada, employment dropped 8 percent for this age group while for those 25 and older it increased slightly – at 0.6 percent. However, it’s important to note that there was a disproportionate number of low paying and part-time jobs compared to full-time and high paying ones during this time.

Now that Alberta’s economy is turning around, job prospects for youth between 15 and 24 hasn’t improved. As a matter of fact, it’s decreased by 1.2 percent over the past year while jobs for people 25 and older increased by 1.9 percent over the same time frame.

What’s the explanation for all this?

Companies were forced to let go of many skilled workers who may not have had as many years and experience in the office compared to other employees. These are the people that will be hired first as they already have the experience and are already used to company procedures, work environment and expectations in place.

I Love Alberta!

I want only the best for my beloved province! For more analyses of economics concerning Calgary, Alberta and Western Canada, be sure to check out our Canadian Economics Summary today.

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