Alberta job numbers are up compared to this time last year but one economist in the province says that could be a sign of an overheating economy.

According to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada, Alberta added 82,000 jobs since this time last year. While that's good news for people with well paying jobs in the oil patch and construction industries, it could also be an early indicator of a possible labour crunch.

"The unemployment rate is falling to 4.3 per cent," said Todd Hirsch, chief economist at ATB Financial. "Once you get down into the four or 3.5 to four per cent range, it's a sign of a job market that's too tight. Labour shortages start to become the bigger problem, sort of where we were in '06 and '07."

Canada's national unemployment rate remains at seven per cent, with 7,000 jobs lost across the country.

Hirsch says while Alberta employers should be watching the job market carefully, watching the province moving against the national trend shows it is a key driver for the Canadian economy.