Employment in Alberta grew by 55,000 jobs last year. ATB Financial says manufacturing led the way with 18,000 new jobs

(Published on January 30, 2018)

Some great job growth analysis related to Alberta in 2017 was released on Jan. 8 by ATB Financial’s economics and research team.

The province’s unemployment rate was down to 6.9 per cent at the end of the year, the lowest it has been since late 2015, when the full impact of the collapse in oil prices took hold.

And in 2017, employment in Alberta grew by 55,000 jobs or 2.4 per cent from 2016.

“The sector adding the most jobs in 2017 was manufacturing, which grew by 17,900 positions,” says ATB. “Much of this was due to a revival of manufacturing related to the energy sector, particularly refining. But food and beverage processing also contributed. In second place was the wholesale and retail trades, followed by the natural resource sector, which is almost entirely oil and gas extraction. They added 15,900 and 11,800 jobs respectively.

“But not every sector expanded – and indeed some shed jobs. The sector that suffered the largest loss was health care and social services, contracting by 10,200 jobs. Professional, scientific and technical occupations fell by 5,000 jobs, and the construction sector fell by 1,400 jobs.”

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.


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