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.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW SLIDESHOW

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  • WORST: Newfoundland & Labrador - 12.4

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 12: Nova Scotia - 10.8

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 11: Nunvaut - 9.7

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 10: New Brunswick - 8.3

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 9: Prince Edward Island - 7.4

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 8: Quebec - 6.9

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 7: Ontario - 6.8

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a> Pictured: The Ottawa Congress Centre.

  • 6: British Columbia - 5.3

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 5: Manitoba - 3.5

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a> Pictured: The Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg.

  • 4: Yukon - 3.3

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 3: Northwest Territories - 2.9

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a> Pictured: Yellowknife

  • 2: Saskatchewan - 2.1

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 1: Alberta - 1.7

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

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.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • 7. Huge Regional Disparities

    Wood Mountain (includes oil rich Fort McMurray, pictured here) saw its employment level shoot up by 95% over the 2000 to 2011 period, while forestry based Miramichi suffered the biggest decline of 63% in job numbers.<br> <br> Two out of 33 Census Metropolitan Areas (Windsor and Thunder Bay) had fewer jobs in 2011 than in 2000 while 13 of 45 smaller cities were in this situation. In 2011, only 5.5% of the labour force in Wood Mountain were unemployed while 16.4% were unemployed in Miramichi.<br> <br> -- <a href="http://peoplepatternsconsulting.com/pub_can_job12.html" target="_hplink">People Patterns Consulting</a>

  • 6. Jobs Up, Wages Down

    The unemployment rate jumped from a near record low of 6.1% in October 2008 to a high of 8.7% high in August 2009 and has declined slowly since then to 7.2% in March 2012. In spite of the recovery, unemployment duration increased again in 2011.<br> <br> There was a another slight decrease in the number of discouraged job searchers in 2011, who just quit looking because they believed that nothing suitable was available, but their numbers were still 50% above pre-recession levels. Actual hours worked at all jobs advanced to 36.4 hours in 2011 up 24 minutes from the all-time low of 36 hours in 2009.<br> <br> Real (after removing inflation) average weekly wages fell by 0.5% in 2011 following an increase of only 0.2% in 2010. This helps explain why the number of workers who have more than one job climbed for a third straight year to a record 5.4% in 2011. Women (6.4%) are now more likely to have a second job than are men (4.5%) while both were the same (4.6%) in 1989.<br> <br> -- <a href="http://peoplepatternsconsulting.com/pub_can_job12.html" target="_hplink">People Patterns Consulting</a>

  • 5. Bad News For Working Parents

    In 2011, the employment rate for lone-parent mothers (55%), lone-parent fathers (79%) and mothers with an employed husband present (70%) all with children under the age of six continued to be below their prerecession peaks. The only exception in 2011 was for women with a non-employed husband for whom the employment rate (53%) was above the pre-recession rate.<br> <br> The "monetary" value of childcare remains undervalued. In 2011, childcare and home support workers working full-time (30 hours or more per week) earned an average of $598 per week. This was the third lowest behind full-time chefs and cooks ($545) and retail sales persons ($589). On a more detailed level, babysitters, nannies and parent helpers were the lowest paid occupation from among over 700 occupations in the 2006 Census.<br> <br> -- <a href="http://peoplepatternsconsulting.com/pub_can_job12.html" target="_hplink">People Patterns Consulting</a>

  • 4. Manufacturing Still Struggling

    After eight years of decline, the manufacturing sector created only 15,900 jobs in 2011. Employment in 2011 was about where it was in 1993 and down by 532,200 jobs since the peak in 2004.<br> <br> Based on employment growth over the 2000 to 2011 period, the most rapidly expanding industries in Canada were mining and oil and gas extraction (+70.3%) and construction (+56.4%). Other leading growth industries (all service related) included professional, scientific, technical services (+39.9%), health care and social assistance (+37.9%) and real estate and leasing (+30.1%). <br> <br> -- <a href="http://peoplepatternsconsulting.com/pub_can_job12.html" target="_hplink">People Patterns Consulting</a>

  • 3. Labour Shortages

    For 2011 as a whole, eight (35%) out of the 23 major occupations were in a shortage situation, compared to six occupations in the previous year but still much less than the 10 occupations before the recession began. When examined from an industry basis, there were shortages in five (25%) of the 20 sectors in 2011, up from four during the previous year. <br> <br> In 2011, the unemployment rate among professional occupations in health, nurse supervisors and registered nurses stood at only 0.8%. Unemployment was only 1.9% in technical, assisting and related occupations in health and in professional occupations in business and finance. Demographics point to more shortages in the medium-term.<br> <br> -- <a href="http://peoplepatternsconsulting.com/pub_can_job12.html" target="_hplink">People Patterns Consulting</a>

  • 2. Alberta - The Youth Job-Bringer

    Based on a ranking of 10 youth related indicators, Alberta was the best place for youth in 2011 followed by Saskatchewan in 2nd spot and Quebec in 3rd spot. Next in line were Manitoba (4th), Prince Edward Island (5th), British Columbia (6th), Ontario (7th), New Brunswick (8th), Newfoundland (9th) and Nova Scotia (10th).<br> <br> At the national level, recession is still the reality for youth. Youth employment plummeted by 195,400 jobs in 2009 and 2010 combined but only 19,300 jobs came back in 2011. In 2011, employment rates for all youth slipped further to 55.4% (lowest since 2000), was flat for returning students working in the summer (53.8%) but down a lot for full-time students who were working during the school year (36.6%). <br> <br> In 2011, the unemployment rate improved slightly for all youth (14.2%) but worsened for returning students working in the summer (17.4%).<br> <br> -- <a href="http://peoplepatternsconsulting.com/pub_can_job12.html" target="_hplink">People Patterns Consulting</a>

  • 1. A Greying Workforce

    More and more seniors are working longer. The percentage of those aged 60-64 who are employed rose from 34% in 1989 to 47% in 2011 ... a new record. The percentage of those aged 65-69 who are still working jumped from 11% in 1989 to 23% in 2011 ... another new record. The percentage of the 70 and over group who are still working increased to 6% in 2011 ... one more record high. <br> <br> Over the 1989 to 2011 period, the labour force aged 45-54 more than doubled (+108%), those aged 55-64 also more than doubled (+133%) while those aged 65 and older grew even faster (+180%). <br> <br> The recession delayed retirement for many, as record numbers of persons 60 and older remained in the paid workforce. The median retirement age among men (63.2 years) rose for a third consecutive year in 2011 and was the highest since 2003. The median age of retirement among women increased to 61.4 years in 2011 and is the second highest since 1994.<br> <br> -- <a href="http://peoplepatternsconsulting.com/pub_can_job12.html" target="_hplink">People Patterns Consulting</a>


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  • Mining, Oil and Gas Extraction: -3.7%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: AFP/Getty

  • Utilities: -1.7%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: Alamy

  • Public Administration: -1.0%

    Source: Huffington Post via StatsCan Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Transportation and Warehousing: 0.5%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: The Globe and Mail

  • Information and Cultural Industries: 1.0%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Education Services: 1.1%

    Source: Huffington Post via StatsCan Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: 1.2%

    Source: Huffington Post via StatsCan Photo: Alamy

  • Health Care and Social Services: 1.8%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Finance and Insurance: 1.9%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Retail Trade : 2%

    Source: Huffington Post via StatsCan Photo: The Canadian Press

  • 18. Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services: 2.5%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: Alamy

  • Accommodation and Food Services: 2.5%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Construction: 2.6%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: 2.8%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Fishing, Hunting and Trapping: 3.0%

    Fishing, hunting and trapping was one of three economic sectors to shrink in Canada from 2000 to 2011, losing six per cent of its value. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Forestry and Logging: 3.0%

    Source: Huffington Post via StatsCan Photo: The Canadian Press

  • Manufacturing: 3.0%

    Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121031/t121031a001-eng.htm">Huffington Post via StatsCan</a> Photo: Globe and Mail

  • Wholesale Trade: 3.1%

    Source: Huffington Post via StatsCan Photo: The Canadian Press