Labour Market Notes (Monthly)

These documents contain analysis of the latest labour market data for Alberta, released the same day as Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. The "Labour InSight" section covers a labour market topic in more detail. These documents are published monthly.

Latest Labour Market Notes (January 2018)

Posted January 5, 2018

PDF format  January 2018 - Strong finish to 2017 (complete report)


  • Employment Growth by Province, December 2017 vs. December 2016. Source: Statistics Canada.Employment jumps to a new high.
    Alberta added 26,300 jobs in December, the largest monthly gain since June 2011. Employment increased for the third month in a row, surpassing the pre-recession peak.

  • Year-over-year job growth accelerates.
    With the monthly gain, employment has increased by 54,900 or 2.4% year-over-year. This was slightly higher than the Canadian rate of 2.3%.

  • Unemployment rate falls to 26-month low.
    With the strong employment gains, the unemployment rate declined for the fourth month in a row. It decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 6.9% in December, the lowest level since October 2015.

  • Participation rate moves up.
    After falling to a 16-year low, the labour force participation increased 0.6 percentage points to 72.5%.

  • Private sector gaining ground.
    Employment in the private sector (+9,900) rose for the third consecutive month while self-employment (+12,100) increased after three monthly declines.

  • Rotation to full-time continues.
    While the majority of the gains were in full-time (+15,500), part-time positions also saw a significant increase (+10,800). Since December 2016, Alberta has added 45,800 full-time and 9,200 part-time jobs.

  • Balanced sector gains.
    Both the goods (+12,200) and service (+14,200) sectors posted strong monthly gains. Employment increased in all the goods-producing industries led by natural resources. Meanwhile, the gains in the service sector were concentrated in accommodation and food services (+8,900) and other services (+4,800). Over the last year, the gains have been balanced between the goods (+27,800) and service (+27,100) sectors.

  • Earnings pause in October.
    Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) eased down 0.1% in October to $1,143. Compared to a year ago, earnings were up 3.5%, the largest year-over-year gain since January 2015.

Labour InSight:

Posted January 5, 2018

PDF format  Labour InSight: Labour market moves forward in 2017 (complete report)

Labour InSight Highlights:

Alberta’s labour market improved in 2017 as the economic recovery solidified. Employment grew by 1.0% while earnings picked up and the unemployment rate moved down. This Labour InSight looks at the trends in Alberta’s labour market in 2017.

  • Underlying strength in the labour market
    The labour market continued to recover in 2017. Average annual employment increased by 23,100 after falling by 37,300 in 2016. All of the gains were in fulltime positions which were partly offset by part-time losses. This ongoing rotation from part-time to full-time moderated the overall employment gains in 2017. Within the year, Alberta added 54,900 with self-employment and the private sector responsible for nearly all of the gains (Chart 1).

Chart: Alberta employment ends 2017 on strong footing. Source: Statistics Canada. Source: Statistics Canada

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Labour Market Notes Archive

These documents were published beginning in 2012.

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Page last updated:  January 17, 2018