Ratio of Part-Time Jobs Lower in Alberta

Aug 06, 2014

Alberta’s labour market has been the job factory of the country over the last year. According to Statistics Canada, the province added 81,800 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014. Canada, as a whole, added just 72,300. That means the other nine provinces shed nearly 10,000 jobs.

Not only is Alberta creating more jobs, it’s creating better ones. The ratio of part-time to full-time work is lower in Alberta than the national average. In June, that ratio was 0.195, which means full-time positions outnumbered part-time positions by more than five-to-one.

Nationally, the ratio of part-time to full-time jobs remained stubbornly at 0.235, a level that has been remarkably stable over the past several years. In fact, in the post-recession period in 2010 when Canada’s economy was adding thousands of jobs, the part-time/full-time ratio remained unchanged. That suggests part-time work was growing at the same rate as full-time work.

Alberta’s ratio has shown greater volatility, particularly during and after the recession. In 2009 and 2010, the ratio rose closer to the national rate to above 0.22. It then fell to a low of 0.17.

Many workers—students or mature workers transitioning to retirement—may prefer part-time work, so it isn’t quite correct to suggest it is bad. Generally speaking, full-time positions are superior because the pay is greater and they usually come with better employer benefits.

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