Business

Alberta floods cost workers 5.1 million hours

Workers in Alberta collectively lost 5.1 million hours of work as a result of the flood that devastated southern parts of their province in June, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

13.5% of working population lost 7.5 million hours and 6% worked 2.4 additional hours

Alberta residents lost millions of hours of work during the flooding that hit their province in June - although most were still working hard off the job cleaning up the devastation caused by the floods. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

Workers in Alberta collectively lost 5.1 million hours of work as a result of the flood that devastated southern parts of their province in June, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

The figure was calculated by adding up the hours of work people lost after their homes or businesses flooded, and subtracting the additional hours put in by people who were paid to be involved in the cleanup.

About 300,000 employed Albertans, or 13.5 per cent of the employed population, lost a total of 7.5 million work hours because of the flood while another 134,000 people, or six per cent of workers, put in 2.4 million additional hours, the agency said.

"There was a net loss in hours worked in all industries, except utilities and public administration," Statistics Canada said.

In the utilities sector, 98,000 hours were added to workers' schedules while public administration employees put in 360,000 more hours because of the flooding.

Professional, scientific and technical workers had the greatest proportion of workers to take time away because of the disaster, which shut down parts of Calgary for a week to more than a month. More than 27 per cent of workers in this sector missed work in the second half of June, losing a total of 1.7 million hours.

Workers in the 25 to 39 age group were the most affected by the floods, losing 26.8 hours on average. Women and men were similarly affected, with men losing a few more hours on average. A slightly greater proportion of men than women had to work additional hours because of the flood — seven per cent vs. 4.8 per cent.