Alberta’s labour shortage not as bad as originally projected

Young workers flocking to province: Report
||Last Updated: 01/16/2014

Initial projections of an impending labour shortage in Alberta have been significantly reduced, according to a new report from the provincial government.

Released on Jan. 15, the Alberta Occupational Demand and Supply Outlook indicated the projected worker shortage over the next decade has dropped from 114,000 to 96,000 workers. The new statistics now forecast a shortage of 96,000 workers by 2023.

Thomas Lukaszuk, minister of the newly-formed Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, said the forecasted numbers sets a baseline for his new department by which it can determine what labour gaps need to be filled.

“With this information, we can see what areas of our economy may face shortages and ensure we have a skilled workforce to help get our products to global markets for years to come,” he said.

For instance, the outlook has identified the need for post-secondary education for engineering professions.

The government cited Alberta’s booming youth workforce, which has shrunk the previous imbalance between labour supply and demand, as one major factor. As well, the lower shortage numbers can be attributed to high participation rates and new industry-led workforce strategies, such as the Alberta Forest Products Association’s Work Wild program and the Wood Buffalo Retail Employer Network.

Occupations facing the highest worker shortages include retail trade managers, physicians, dentists, veterinarians, heavy equipment operators, trades helpers and labourers and food and beverage service staff.

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