First jobs tough to get in Alberta last year

Published: The Owl
By: ATB Financial's Economics & Research Team

It may have been selling corn dogs at the summer fair or clearing tables at a local restaurant--all of us will vividly remember our first real jobs. Entry-level employment is rarely glamorous or high paying, but those first jobs are critical for gaining valuable work experience.
Statistics Canada, in a report titled “Getting your foot in the door: A look at entry-level job vacancies in Canada” profiles the kinds of jobs offered to new workers. It explores topics such as: How many entry-level job vacancies are available? What are their characteristics? Which occupations offer entry-level positions?

It also profiles the unemployment rates among entry-level workers by province. The chart below shows the 2016 jobless rate for entry-level jobs compared to the overall job market. For most provinces, the unemployment rate for entry-level jobs (the blue bar) was lower than was the overall rate (the yellow bar), suggesting that it was easier for people just entering the job market to find work than those who were established in their careers.

However, in Alberta the unemployment rate for entry-level work was actually higher than the overall unemployment rate--it was nine per cent, almost 8/10th of a percentage point greater than the overall rate. (This was also the case in Manitoba and Ontario, although the differences here were smaller.)
So while 2016 was tough for established workers in Alberta, it was even more difficult for young workers or new Canadians looking for their first work experiences. Those corn dog sellers and table clearers may have been quite happy to find the jobs they did.


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