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Alberta eliminated 60,000 public sector jobs since July 2019

Last week, I reported that Alberta has lost 300,000 full-time jobs since the Alberta government implemented their “Job Creation Tax Cut” in July 2019. But how many of them were public sector jobs?

Last week, I reported that Alberta has lost 300,000 full-time jobs since the Alberta government implemented their “Job Creation Tax Cut” in July 2019.

I was prompted yesterday to comb through the data to see how public sector jobs specifically have fared. For my data, I used the monthly Labour Market Notes published by the provincial government.

Here’s what I found:

MonthChange
July 2019-7,400
August 20190
September 20194,000
October 2019-10,200
November 20190
December 2019-7,100
January 20204,500
February 2020-4,700
March 20200
April 2020-3,500
May 2020-35,100

And here it is in chart form:

Three months (August 2019, November 2019, and March 2020) had no data. I assumed then that there were no job number changes in those months, so I assigned each of them a zero to indicate no change.

What we see in both the table and the chart is that most changes are below the 0 line, which means more months saw job losses than those that saw job gains.

In fact, only two months (September and January) saw job increases, for a total of 9,500 job gains. But those gains were entirely wiped out by October’s job losses (10,200) alone.

Not only did more months have job losses, but the size of those losses were higher than the size of the gains. Only 1 of the 6 months that saw job losses had a job loss that was smaller than either of the months that saw job gains. Every other loss month had larger losses than the gain months.

When you add up all the job gains and losses over the last 11 months, we find that Alberta had a net loss of 59,500 jobs.

Granted, a good chunk of those job losses were during the pandemic. Even if we constrict the data to between July 2019 and February 2020, however, we see that there was a net loss of 20,900 public sector jobs prior to COVID-19 shutting everything down.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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