Calgary

Job vacancies in Alberta plummet by 48%

The number of unfilled jobs in Alberta has been cut nearly in half in the span of a year, dragging the province's job vacancy rate from the highest in Canada to among the lowest.

Statistics Canada figures show 35K fewer unfilled positions since 1st quarter of 2015

Alberta job vacancies shrank by 48 per cent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, Statistics Canada says. (Shutterstock)

The number of unfilled jobs in Alberta has been cut nearly in half in the span of a year, dragging the province's job vacancy rate from the highest in Canada to among the lowest.

There were 35,000 fewer unfilled jobs in Alberta in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, according to data released Thursday by Statistics Canada.

The province's 48-per-cent drop in job vacancies was by far the steepest decline in the country, which recorded an 18-per-cent decline nationally.

The job vacancy rate refers to the share of jobs that are unfilled out of all payroll jobs available. It represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand, according to Statistics Canada.

The job vacancy rate in Alberta stood at 3.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, which was the highest in Canada.

A year later, it was at 1.9 per cent, with only Newfoundland and Labrador (1.7 per cent), Quebec (1.6 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (1.2 per cent) posting lower rates.

Below is an interactive graph showing job vacancy numbers in Alberta by occupation type:

Of the jobs available in Alberta, 72.4 per cent are full-time positions, the second-highest proportion in the country behind Quebec's 73 per cent.

In Canada, 67.8 per cent of the vacancies were for full-time work in the first quarter of 2016.

The average hourly wage for vacant positions in Alberta is $20.05, just over the national average of $19.95.

The Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake area in northern Alberta is seventh out of 10 on the list of economic regions offering the highest offered hourly wage, at $22.80.

Nunavut has the highest average offered hourly rate at $27.90 and New Brunswick has the lowest, at $15.70.

The Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House area is among the 10 economic regions with the highest job vacancy rates, at 2.6 per cent.

The national average is 2.1 per cent, down 0.5 percentage points from last year.

with files from Robson Fletcher

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