Everything You Need to Know About Developing the Alberta Labour Force
If you represent an Alberta community and are looking for help developing your local workforce, here is some information about the challenges you can expect to face and overcome, and some ideas and solutions to help you succeed.
Table of Contents (3 minute read)
- Better Data: The Solution to Economic Challenges for Alberta Labour
- Labour Market Data Across Industries
Alberta is facing higher than average unemployment. Alberta’s unemployment rate in 2018 is lower than 2017 by about 0.8%, but it is still higher than the national average of 5.9%.
Many industries in Alberta are facing labour job shortages. The following occupations are expected to have a shortage of at least 1000 workers by 2025:
- managers in construction and transportation,
- computer and information systems professionals,
- nursing staff, medical technologists and technicians,
- sales and service supervisors,
- childcare and home support workers,
- motor vehicle and transit drivers, and
- contractors, operators and supervisors in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture.
The oil and gas industry is a major contributor to Alberta’s economy, and with the instability of oil prices around the world, it's time for Alberta to start investing in some of its other key industries. Economic diversification will be key to maintaining the province’s history of prosperity.
Climate change is affecting Alberta’s economy and industries as well. The shift to renewable energies and the effects of worsening climate conditions - like increased wildfires - will cause difficulties; to overcome these, the Alberta labour force will need to adapt.
Better Data: The Solution to Economic Challenges for Alberta Labour
The above challenges can seem daunting: the recession is still recent enough to loom large in everyone’s mind. But some of the biggest struggles can seem even bigger when you don’t have the local labour market intelligence (LMI). Inaccurate or dated workplace data makes it difficult to address problems early. Having current and credible labour market information that is accurate and relevant to your community allows you to predict and strategize for spikes in unemployment rates.
Economic diversification is only possible if you have a good handle on the existing labour market in your community, as well as knowledge of the kinds of skills employers are looking for and the skills workers in your area have. With local labour market data you can create strategies for developing transferable skills in the workforce.
Data collection will help prepare your community to react quickly to changes in the market. The changing nature of jobs in the energy sector, for example, is easier to support if you already have a good idea of your community’s ability to support green infrastructure.
Getting this data is easy, as long as you know where to look for LMI tools.
Add Another Tool to Your Toolkit
While there are many accurate sources of workforce data in Canada (StatsCan being the most obvious example), many are not timely enough or specific enough to meet the needs of an individual Alberta community. Certain jobs require more specific tools; for your community to be able to react to the specific economic challenges the province will face, you need to get faster and more specific workforce data.
This accurate data is exactly what MDB Insight and Vicinity Jobs provide in the Regional Labour Demand Reports™. It’s a resource for all those development decisions you need to make double-time, and it can help the Alberta labour force react to tough challenges. Both reports give you up-to-date information about the hiring trends in your area, taken from online sources that are verified and sorted by Vicinity Jobs. As a subscriber, you get access to a comprehensive reporting system with monthly updates.
Labour Market Data Across Industries
Alberta has a wide variety of key industries across the province. Collecting labour market data about multiple industries helps to highlight trends province wide, as well as in a local economic region. With information about how these industries operate in other areas of the province, you can find ways to further develop or strengthen the market for those industries in your area.
One example of a strong industry in Alberta is aerospace and defence. It seems obvious for communities near a military base to have many people working in that sector. But recruitment for aerospace and defence jobs can take place in any community in the province. This industry is not strictly limited to the military in Alberta, and there are over 170 companies across the province in the aerospace and aviation sectors.
Agriculture is the backbone of Alberta’s history, with the province listed as the third-largest exporter of agricultural products in Canada. The high-quality level of Alberta agri-food industry products has created a high demand around the world. The industry is changing rapidly, and the demand for a skilled workforce is high. With data about your local agricultural production, you can create plans to help the industry grow and thrive.
Tourism is another important and growing industry in Alberta. With many world-renowned tourist locations, the industry contributes some $8.5 billion to the province each year, and adds 127,000 full-time equivalent jobs to the Alberta labour market. But, tourism recruitment can be challenging. Many of the jobs are highly seasonal, so jobseekers may look for more permanent positions, without realizing all the benefits associated with working in the tourism industry. With LMI and a workforce strategy, you can highlight the perks, benefits, and opportunities in the tourism industry in your area.