The pandemic has impacted just about every aspect of our lives and one of the biggest impacts has been on the job market. With millions losing their jobs in Alberta, unemployment rates soared and people are unsure what to expect next.
The biggest losses were seen in the tourism, information, culture and recreation sectors. Accommodation and food sector industries also experienced a major hit, but with gathering & travel restrictions being removed these industries are expected to bounce back.
The Government of Alberta releases the Alberta Occupational Outlook every 2 years to predict the job outlook for the next ten years. If you are looking for a career change and want to know to focus your efforts, according to the 2021 report, the following sectors are forecasted to have the highest labour shortages in Alberta:
Industries with Labour Shortages:
- Early childhood educators and assistants
- Transport truck drivers
- Administrative assistants
- Homebuilding and renovation managers
- Administrative officers
- General office support workers
- Accounting technicians and bookkeepers
- In the health sector, we are expected to have a shortage of Anesthesiologists
Industries with Labour Surpluses:
- Occupations associated with retail trade and customer service
- Occupations in front-line public protection services
- Policy and program researchers, consultants and officers
- Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators
- Power engineers and power systems operators
One of the biggest driving factors between the outlook differences is retirement. The retirement of baby boomers is a major contributor to labour shortages and the number of individuals retiring was expected to increase to 50% by 2028. However, the pandemic has forced many people into early retirement, which means the shortage could occur sooner than forecasted.
While employment growth has slowed due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is increasing with most of the employment increase seen in full-time work. Due to the increase in full-time work, the growth in the number of hours worked outpaces employment increase. Fewer people are being hired instead work hours are being increased. Self-employment and the number of people working from home have also increased.
However, with restrictions being relaxed and businesses starting to return to “normal” jobs are opening up once again. According to Statistics Canada’s March 2022 Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate in Alberta as of March 2022 was 6.5%, down 0.3% from February.
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