Alberta’s hot labour market burns neighbours

Job vacancies push wages up and attract employees from other provinces
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/25/2005

In the eight months that Keely Hammond has worked as a hotel manager at the Radisson Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, wages across the board have gone up by $2 an hour — from $8 to $10 for dishwashers and $10 to $12 for housekeepers.

In spite of that, Hammond is still working at 60 per cent of normal staffing levels. “We’re hiring anyone who comes in from the street.

“Between myself and the other two managers, we’re doing dishes at night, we’re doing the laundry. Once in a while, we’ll need a break; we’ll need to not be on the property for a whole day. But that doesn’t happen very often — maybe once a month,” said Hammond, who was working at the Radisson in Niagara Falls in Ontario when the company told her she was needed in the oil-sands town.