Albertans working longer hours

Jul 31, 2014

Albertans are working longer hours and delaying retirement to help employers deal with labour shortages, a new Canadian study found.

The study, released Thursday by the Fraser Institute, examined labour trends across Canada, highlighting geographic and demographic data. It noted that employers throughout the country — particularly those in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia — are looking for ways to stretch their existing labour forces, to avoid the costs of hiring new workers.

Albertans appear to be most affected by labour shortages, working the highest number of hours per week of all Canadian provinces. Employees in the province work an average of 35.1 hours per week. One third of them work 50 hours or more.

Saskatchewan and Newfoundland workers came in second and third place, working an average of 34.5 and 34.2 hours weekly. Quebeckers were found to work the fewest hours in Canada, clocking 31.5 hours in an average work week.

Employees in Alberta and Saskatchewan have also experienced major increases in the number of overtime hours worked in the past 10 years, the study said. While overtime hours across Canada rose by 3.3 per cent since 2003, Albertans’ overtime hours rose by 57 per cent over the same period; Saskatchewan workers saw a 60 per cent increase.

The study was authored by Philip Cross, the former Chief Economic Analyst with Statistics Canada.

Original article can be found on the Edmonton Journal