Economic downturn takes a toll on payroll employment

In Alberta, payroll employment was down 212,200 month-over-month and by 329,400 year-over-year, says Statistics Canada report

Following a decline of almost one million payroll jobs in March, payroll employment in Canada fell by an additional 1,830,200 (-11.4 per cent) in April, bringing total losses since February to 2,769,500 (-16.3 per cent), reported Statistics Canada on Thursday.

In Alberta, payroll employment was down 212,200 month-over-month and by 329,400 year-over-year.

“In previous shocks to oil prices or international demand—such as the 2014/2015 oil price shock—employment fell in support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction before declining in oil and gas extraction itself,” said the federal agency. “From February to April, the number of payroll employees in such support activities declined by 11,200 (-15.8 per cent), mainly in Alberta (not adjusted for seasonality). This was the largest two-month decline since comparable data became available in 2001. Average weekly earnings in this subsector declined to $1,764 in April, a drop of 8.1 per cent compared with February.

“Despite record-low oil prices and declining domestic and international demand, payroll employment in oil and gas extraction was little changed from February to April, while earnings ($2,786) were little changed compared with April 2019. Employment in this subsector has been relatively flat since late 2018.”

Average weekly earnings in Alberta remain the highest of all provinces at $1,241.42 which was up 6.2 per cent month-over-month and increased by 8.5 per cent year-over-year.

In Canada, average weekly earnings of $1,12.22 rose by 6.1 per cent month-over-month and by 9.1 per cent year-over-year.


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