Albertans may enjoy high salaries and abundant job opportunities, but a new study shows that they are working harder than most Canadians for those benefits.
A Fraser Institute study released Thursday says Albertans, on average, work a longer week than most other Canadians, and are often asked to delay their retirements.
The study, titled "Do Labour Shortages Exist In Canada?" compares demographic and geographic employment trends across Canada.
The study found nearly one-third of Albertans work more than 50 hours a week, while only 12.4 per cent of Canadians in the rest of the country work the same lengthy hours.
Also, the number of employees paid to work overtime in Alberta over the last decade rose by 57 per cent — compared to 3.3 per cent in the rest of Canada.
A tight labour market means one-in-10 workers over the age of 70 remain in the labour force in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and more than one third of Albertans age 65 to 69 remain employed.
"Those are startling statistics, and much higher than we’re seeing in the rest of the country,” study author Philip Cross told the Edmonton Journal.
"You have employers raiding each other, waiting outside each other’s job sites, walking up to people and saying ‘I’ll give you $5 more an hour,’ that type of thing,” he continued, noting some observations he made on a trip to Alberta last year.
The study found that when new employees cannot be found, employers are resorting to tactics that include "retaining current employees by extending their careers and their hours of work, since that eliminates the search costs of finding and training new employees."
Cross told 660 News one solution to Alberta's labour shortage is more young workers from Eastern Canada coming west to fill jobs.
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