Alberta payroll employment plunges from April to May

The largest payroll employment decline in May in Canada was in accommodation and food services (-116,500, or -16.9 per cent)

Payroll employment in Alberta decreased by 89,300 jobs from April to May and by 421,200 positions year-over-year, according to new data released Thursday by Statistics Canada.

Nationally, payroll employment fell by 585,100 on a month-over-month basis and by 3,278,600 year-over-year.

The federal agency said construction was the only sector to see an increase in payroll employment in May, up 28,400 (+3.5 per cent). 

“This was mainly the result of increases among specialty trade contractors. All the gains in construction were observed in Quebec (+47,900, or +38.4 per dent), where residential construction was allowed to restart in mid-April. Despite the monthly increase at the national level, employment in the construction sector was down 213,200 (-20.2 per cent) compared with February,” it said.

“Within the goods-producing sector, the number of payroll jobs edged up in May (+7,300, or +0.3 per cent) as declines in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-10,500, or -5.6 per cent) and manufacturing (-6,600, or -0.5 per cent) mostly offset the increase in construction. In May, employment in the goods-producing sector was 16.7 per cent below its February level.

“For a third consecutive month, payroll employment in support activities for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction declined, with losses totalling 19,500 (-27.5 per cent) since February.”

StatsCan said the number of payroll employees in manufacturing fell by 250,000 (-16.0 per cent) since February, with declines in all subsectors.

The largest payroll employment decline in May was in accommodation and food services (-116,500, or -16.9 per cent). This continues a downward trend for this sector, bringing total losses to 770,400 (-57.4 per cent) since February, and marking the largest variation over this period compared with all other sectors. Payroll employment was down for both subsectors in accommodation and food services in May,” added the federal agency.

“From February to May, the largest decline was observed in food services and drinking places (-641,000, or -56.3 per cent), which represented almost one-fifth (18.9 per cent) of total payroll employment losses over the period.” 

The report said employment losses in retail trade slowed in May, dropping 41,800 (-2.6 per cent) compared with the April decline of 279,600 (-14.9 per cent). 


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