Alberta eliminated 60,000 public sector jobs since July 2019

Kim Siever
2 min readJun 16, 2020

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:

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.

Originally published at on 16 June 2020.



Kim Siever

Writer. Parent. Spouse. Radical left. Finished writing a book on capitalism. My next book is on the history of the labour movement in Lethbridge, AB. He/him.