Head office employment down in Calgary, Edmonton: ATB

A new report from ATB Financial says that head office employment in Canada’s seven largest cities grew between 2012 to 2017 — except in Calgary and Edmonton.

The total number of head office employees in Calgary dropped by nearly 8 per cent, from 31,572 to 29,068. Edmonton fell 5 per cent, from 6,242 to 5,924, ATB reported in its The Owl newsletter on Wednesday.

“Alberta has always been home to a disproportionately high number of corporate head offices. But, in recent years, the number of employees working in those top jobs has started to change,” analysts wrote.

“Head office jobs, especially in oil and gas, were hit much harder than other sectors. These jobs tend to be among the highest paying and best quality jobs. Their loss has had a sizeable impact on Alberta’s disposable income and spending.”

Toronto and Montreal have the greatest number of head office workers, ATB said, with their totals growing by 5.2 and 4.4 per cent, respectively, between 2012 and 2017. Winnipeg has a much lower number, but still saw the greatest gain (+13.6 per cent).

ATB noted that the drop in Calgary and Edmonton head office employment runs counter to the province’s overall employment trend, which actually rose by 2.8 per cent over the same five years (July 2012 to July 2017).

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