Contribution by Cowan’s Client Support Services Team Leader Elisa Edkin Proctor
A Booming Economy
News out of Western Canada regarding employment shows that Alberta’s booming economy is far and above that of all other provinces. As stated by BMO economists “there’s Alberta and then there’s everyone else”.
Employment has climbed 3.2 percent over the year whereas the rest of Canada showed only a 0.1 percent increase. The energy and Oil and gas sectors are leading the way as the biggest employers offering big wages to go with the growth. Although on the surface it’s an attractive proposition to move to the province that boasts the highest weekly average Canadian wage don’t be fooled into thinking higher wages means better value. With booming industry comes a higher cost of living which in many cases swallows the promise of extra disposable income. Supply and demand governs such that huge demand on housing and condo’s drive the cost of owning a home higher than the national average.
Recruiting Challenges in Alberta’s Construction Industry
Construction and trades are on the rise as well, confirmed by a new report that says Alberta will lead Canada’s construction industry through the next decade.
While Alberta’s construction industry has adapted well to conditions to date, there may be recruiting challenges says Rosemary Sparks, executive director of BuildForce Canada, in a news release. “There’s stiff competition for skilled labour in other provinces, and meeting local needs won’t be easy. As retirements rise, we are also facing the potential loss of thousands of skilled and experienced workers.”
The report said Alberta will need to replace up to 45,000 workers, with 22 per cent of its workforce retiring over the next decade. “Alberta’s skilled labour requirements far exceed those of other provinces, and that makes building a strong, permanent workforce a must,” said Sparks. “There’s a real need to continue promoting skilled trades careers as well as ensuring training and retention programs are sufficient to support the next generation of workers.”
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