Alberta is the best province or territory in Canada to look for work, according to somewhat unsurprising new data from Statistics Canada’s job vacancies survey that also shows Newfoundland has the most challenging job market in the country.
Alberta had only 1.7 job-seekers for every job opening in the three months ending in August of this year, StatsCan reported. In the same period last year, the province had 2.8 job-seekers for every job, suggesting the job situation in Alberta is improving.
At the other end of the spectrum is Newfoundland and Labrador, where there were 12.4 job-seekers for every job. The maritime province saw its job situation deteriorate, as in the same period a year earlier there were only 11.1 job-seekers per job. The national average was 5.2 job hunters for every vacancy.
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The numbers represent a bit of a shift from last year, when Saskatchewan and the Yukon were tied for the most favourable job ratio (2.6 job-seekers per job), and Alberta came in third.
The data strengthens the assertion by industry groups and Alberta’s government that the province is experiencing a labour shortage. That view is somewhat controversial, with some economists arguing forecasts of a looming labour crunch are based on “misleading” numbers.
Other provinces that have less dynamic job markets are also potentially facing labour shortages. Despite there being 5.3 job-seekers per job in B.C., about the national average, the provincial government forecasts a 435,000-worker shortage in its mining and oil and gas sectors.
Labour shortages for the time being appear limited to the resource extraction sector. Job creation has been lacklustre in Canada’s broader economy recently, with 175,000 net job positions created in the year to September, amounting to a one per cent increase in the total number of jobs.
That’s enough to keep up with population growth, but not enough to reduce the unemployment rate, which has been sitting steady at 7.4 per cent in recent months.
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