Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors.
The number of job openings in a particular occupation will depend on:
- Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
- Location in Alberta
- Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
- Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
- Size of the occupation
- Trends and events affecting overall employment
For the 2019 to 2023 forecast
Below average occupation growth is less than 1.9% per year.
Average occupation growth is 1.9% per year.
Above average occupation growth is over 1.9% per year.
Seasonal jobs are available only at certain times of the year. There may be no or very few jobs available in the off season and many job openings in the peak season.
The employment outlook in an occupation may vary from one location to another in Alberta. For example, the employment outlook may be different in a rural or urban community, or in a prairie or forested region of the province. It is a good idea to discuss your career plans with people who are knowledgeable about the occupations that interest you and the local employment outlook for those occupations.
Employment turnover refers to job vacancies created by people leaving existing positions. For example, people may retire or quit because they have found other jobs or been promoted.
A significant number of job openings are created by employment turnover. In some occupations, more job openings are created by employment turnover than by occupational growth.
Occupational growth refers to the creation of new positions that never existed before. The occupational growth rate is the rate at which the number of people employed in an occupation is expected to grow each year.
For example, if there are 1,000 people currently employed in an occupation that is growing at an average rate (1.9%), an average of 19 new jobs will be created each year of the forecast period. Please note that growth rates are averages of expected annual growth rates and therefore do not reflect changes from year to year over the forecast period.
Projections are based on data about occupational groups defined in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. When an occupation described in an occupational profile is one of several occupations in an occupational group, it is important to consider how demand for other types of work in the group may influence a projection.
High employment turnover or occupational growth does not necessarily mean that there will be many job openings in an occupation. Likewise, average or below average employment turnover or occupational growth does not necessarily mean that there will be only a few job openings in an occupation. It depends on the size of the occupation.
As the following chart illustrates, there may be many more new jobs created in a large occupation that is growing at a below average rate than in a small occupation that is growing at an above average rate.
|Number of people employed in the occupation
|x Occupational growth rate
|= Number of new positions created each year
|x over 1.9%
|= more than 1
|x less than 1.9%
|= fewer than 190
Employment trends and events can affect the employment outlook of occupations in an industry, a demographic, or the other factors listed above.
For example, think of the trend of increasing adoption of technology. It has led to more technology-based occupations such as cyber forensic investigator.
The Industrial Revolution is an example of an event that led to an increase in manufacturing occupations such as sawmill machine operators.
Research labour market information to help you find the trends and events that might affect employment outlook.
National Occupational Classification (NOC) occupational groups often include several related occupations. For example, the 4212: Social and community service workers occupational group includes a number of occupations, 7 of which are described in separate Alberta occupational profiles:
- Child and Youth Care Worker
- Community Disability Services Practitioner
- Community Health Representative
- Health Coach
- Life Skills Coach
- Manager of Volunteer Resources
- Mental Health Worker
The same occupational growth rate is reported in all 7 profiles because Alberta occupational growth data is based on NOC 4212.
It is important to consider how demand for other types of work in an occupational group might influence the occupational growth projection reported in an occupational profile. If some occupations are growing significantly faster or slower than other occupations in a group, the rate for the whole group may be affected.
For example, if most people in the occupational group are employed in occupations that are growing at an above average rate, the occupational growth projection for the group as a whole will probably be above average. If some are employed in occupations that are growing at an above average rate but most are employed in occupations growing at an average rate and/or some are employed in occupations growing at a below average rate, the occupational growth projection for the group as a whole will probably be average. Likewise, occupational groups forecasted to grow at a below average rate may include some occupations that are in decline and others that are growing at an average rate.