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In terms of absolute numbers, the busy retail and housing industries triggered large increases in certain occupations. Table 2 shows the largest absolute increase in employment by occupation.
Retail salespersons and sales clerks comprised one of the largest occupations in the country; their numbers rose by 132,300, the largest increase of all occupations. Another group, cashiers, increased by 43,300, a reflection of expanding consumer spending in retail stores1.
The second largest increase occurred in the construction trades helpers and labourers, whose numbers rose by 52,300. Much of this growth occurred in British Columbia and Alberta. The building boom required carpenters, and as a result, their numbers increased by 33,900.
Among health care workers, the number of nurse aides and orderlies increased by 37,100, while the number of registered nurses rose by 37,000. This was a reflection of the greater demand for health services, paralleling increased government spending in the industry.
Table 2 Largest increases in employment by occupation, 2001 to 2006, Canada