The best (and worst) provinces for job growth right now
by Kate Robertson, Investopedia.com
Friday, August 27, 2010
Since this time last year, Statistics Canada reported that national employment inched up 2.3% with 394,000 more people working. But in the last month, 139,000 full-time jobs were lost, while part-time jobs increased by about 130,000, edging the unemployment rate back up to 8%.
Jobs in education, finance, insurance and real estate took the brunt of the drop in full-time work last month, but increases in manufacturing and public administration helped to balance out July’s numbers.
Most provinces maintained steady employment numbers for the month, but two provinces leapt ahead of the pack in job gains: British Columbia and Alberta.
B.C.’s provincial government says that much of this is due to high numbers of construction projects in the region. The province reports that since the beginning of the year, there have been 896 major construction projects at an estimated value of $191 billion underway or planned for the near future – an all-time high for the region. There are 547 major construction projects that are being proposed at this time – another broken record for the province.
B.C. also reports that lumber production has increased by more than 22% compared to this time last year and spending on TV and film production increased by more than $100 million since 2008. Finally, the ports of Prince Rupert and Metro Vancouver say that shipping tonnage has increased dramatically since 2009. (You may not have been laid off – yet. Find out if you’re at risk in How Secure Is Your Job?)
The growth the province has seen in the last year is due in part to retail sales, which have increased by 2.4% since May 2009. And, as opposed to the rest of the country where housing starts have decreased by 1.6% in the last year, Alberta has seen an increase of 8.1%. The province also reports that the value of building permits saw an increase of 17.7% in the last month to close to $1.2 billion.
In the oil industry, the province’s bread and butter, the average number of rigs drilling in the province went up 68.4% in the last month. The Alberta government says that in the last year, drilling activity is up 135.5%.
The province has seen decreases in the manufacturing, transportation and warehousing and education sectors over the last year, but reports increases in the service sector, which makes up approximately 78% of employment in Quebec. (Don’t get trapped in a dying career sector. Find out The 9 Worst Career Choices Right Now.)
Statistics Canada reports that the industries with the highest growth rates nationally are construction, professional, scientific and technical services and in health care.