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Employment centre sees 223% spike in job posts

by Evan Matthews | reporter@fitzhugh.ca

As Jasperites get ready to put shoulder season in the rearview, the Jasper Employment and Education Centre (JECC) has released statistics from busier times.

It reveals a couple of truths many in Jasper are already familiar with: While jobs are available, housing simply is not.

Though Jasper has many jobs posted, the JEEC Fall 2017 Labour Market Review says a shortage of staff accommodation had significant impact on whether or not people could stay in Jasper. As a result, many job seekers moved on to other locations.

“We actually ask if accommodation is available or not to each job seeker, because it will direct people in their search,” JEEC executive director Ginette Marcoux said. “People who come (to Jasper), they know rentals are impossible to find, and it dictates what jobs they look for. Many look for jobs with accommodation.”

In 2017, between Mar. 1 and Aug. 31, 61 percent of job listings included staff accommodation, however, Marcoux says the number dropped to about 40 percent for periods between July and August.

Over the same time period, the JEEC took 1,182 job orders from 138 different employers for a total of 2,359 positions, the data shows. The number of positions is up from the same time period in 2016 by 223 percent, according to Marcoux.

Job orders can be for more than one position, Marcoux says, with Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Parks Canada being good examples of bulk listers. Fairmont may place one job order, but for 30 housekeepers, she says.

Turnover rates are high among entry level positions. High turnover rate in combination with a lack of housing, translates to people leaving Jasper.

“Many of the listings are common jobs like housekeepers, and there are hundreds and hundreds of them,” says Marcoux. “People come and go… This year job seekers were coming into the office and telling staff they were moving on from Jasper as a result.”

 

Between Mar. 1 and Aug. 31, JEEC saw and sought to help 1,303 job seekers. This was a slight increase from the 1,261 who accessed their services in 2016.

After a couple years of minimal growth, “overall starting wage in Jasper has increased by eight percent in various occupations.”

The data also shows average wages have increased by an average of roughly $0.60, which reflects in part the Oct. 1, 2017 minimum wage increase to $13.60.

 

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