St. Albertans can go look for a new job next week at the fall job fair, and executive director Shelly Nichol of the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce says all industries in the city are on the hunt for employees.
The need is being driven by COVID-19 labour force disruptions that the province can’t seem to shake, Nichol said.
“I don’t think [labour shortages are] isolated to any single industry anymore,” Nichol said. “That might have been the case in years past, but this is everybody.”
The local chamber and their collaborative partners are working with other chambers in municipalities across the province, and with the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, to help bring more job fairs to smaller communities that may lack the resources to put on the events.
“This is not isolated to [St. Albert,”] Nichols said. “This is across the province, across Canada.”
Seventeen businesses and organizations will be at the job fair, giving potential employees access to careers in childcare, health services, construction, food services and more.
The popular American cookie chain Crumbl, which opened its first Canadian location in Edmonton last March, will be at the fair. It plans to open a St. Albert location in spring 2024.
Alberta Central’s Chief Economist Charles St-Arnaud said he’s not surprised to see that plenty of employers in construction and food services will attend. Those industries, along with transportation and warehousing, are seeing the most acute workforce shortages.
But he warned that jobs in trades and transportation may be harder to fill as most involve specialized training.
“Probably those workers can expect higher wages because they have a skill that’s more in demand,” he said.
St-Arnaud said that although job vacancies have declined relative to 2022, they are still high in all industries and much higher than pre-pandemic.
Whether the reduction in vacancies is due to employers finding the right employees or employers cutting their workforces, St-Arnaud couldn’t say.
But there is still a lot of willingness to hire, St-Arnaud said, so the labour market is still very strong.
The chamber invites all job seekers to attend the fair, which will take place at the St. Albert Inn & Suites on 156 St. Albert Trail from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 28.
Attendees can access resume writing services, and translation services will also be available.
The chamber is hosting the job fair along with the City of St. Albert, the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Northern Alberta Business Incubator (NABI), the St. Albert Library and St. Albert Further Education.