Payroll employment in Alberta continues to fall

Payroll employment in Alberta fell by 32,200 in January, according to a report released Tuesday by Statistics Canada.

The federal agency said the number of jobs was also down 209,700 from a year ago.

Across Canada, it said payroll employment fell by 134,500 in January, following an increase of 48,000 in December. The largest declines were in Ontario (-66,100) and Quebec (-43,700). 

“Nationally, losses were driven by sectors affected by tightened public health measures, including retail trade, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment and recreation,” said StatsCan.

The total number of payroll employees in January was 1.2 million (-7.0 per cent) lower than in February 2020.”

Alberta continued to have the highest average weekly earnings in the country among the provinces at $1,238.65 in January. That was up 3.1 per cent month over month and 4.5 per cent year over year.

Nationally, average weekly earnings were $1,135.41 in January, up 1.8 per cent compared with December. On a year-over-year basis, earnings grew 8.3 per cent, as job losses since February 2020 have been concentrated among hourly paid—and largely lower-paid—employees. In January, the number of hourly paid employees was 10.0 per cent below its pre-COVID level, compared with a gap of 3.2 per cent for salaried employees, added the federal agency.


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