Job vacancies in Alberta were up 7,900 or 18.5 per cent in the first quarter, led by health care and social assistance, said Statistics Canada in a report released on Thursday.
“Job vacancies were also up notably in construction; mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; and administrative and support services. Between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018, the job vacancy rate in the province was up 0.4 percentage points to 2.6 per cent, the fifth consecutive quarter with year-over-year increases in the job vacancy rate,” said the federal agency.
Two regions of Alberta were tied for sixth overall in the country for the highest job vacancy rate at 3.8 per cent: Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River.
In Canada, the number of job vacancies totalled 462,000 in the first quarter, up 75,000 (+19.3 per cent) from the first quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, the job vacancy rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 2.9 per cent, continuing the series of year-over-year increases in the number of vacancies and the job vacancy rate that began in the fourth quarter of 2016, said StatsCan.
The job vacancy rate represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand; that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.
Job vacancies rose across most provinces, industrial sectors and occupational groups on a year-over-year basis, it said.
The number of job vacancies was up in nine of the 10 largest industrial sectors between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018. Retail trade was the sole sector registering a decrease over the period.
“The number of job vacancies reported by employers in health care and social assistance was 11,000 (+27.3 per cent) higher compared with the same quarter a year earlier. With this increase, the sector became the second largest in regards to the number of vacancies — the first being accommodation and food services; a first since the beginning of the series in 2015. In the first quarter, the job vacancy rate in health care and social assistance was up 0.5 percentage points to 2.6 per cent. Job vacancies were up in all four subsectors, with notable rises in ambulatory health care services as well as nursing and residential care facilities. The rise in job vacancies was also broadly based across provinces,” explained StatsCan.
Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.