Workin' hard for the money 

The Owl examined median family income earlier this week and showed that Albertans earn considerably more than households elsewhere in Canada. But just how many hours are spent each week at work to bring home those big paycheques?

In July, the average employee in Alberta worked approximately 32.2 hours, including overtime, a week, which is 5.9 per cent longer than the national average. According to Statistics Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador came in a close second at 32 hours, while workers in British Columbia had the shortest week, clocking 29.6 hours.

Perhaps even more interesting is how the workweek has changed over the last ten years. Albertans now work an extra hour and 20 minutes—or 4.2 per cent longer—than they did in July, 2003. That’s the second highest rate of increase among the provinces. Yet, across the country, the average employee worked about 30 minutes less per week over the same 10-year period.

The fact that Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador have the longest workweek is a reflection of the strong economies and the amount of overtime required. However, employees in New Brunswick rank third for working long hours even though the province has a high unemployment rate of 10.7 per cent. Employers may be requesting more overtime to avoid hiring more workers.

While logging a lot of hours at the office may be a badge of honour to some Albertans, it comes with distinct drawbacks. Workplace stress and illness may also be rising. The most productive employees are those who can balance work and life most appropriately—and for some that might mean working less. 


One conversation with the man the bedding industry has dubbed the “Wizard of Ahhs” is all it takes to be convinced that with his mattress-design expertise he can and will solve the greatest sleep discomfort.

“Mattress making is like cooking to taste: We have the idea and we make the first rendition and we keep remaking and tweaking it until it's perfect,” Earl S. Kluft, owner of the luxury bedding brand E.S. Kluft & Co., told

Priced at $33,000, Kluft’s Palais Royale bed, sold exclusively at Bloomingdale’s, is his hand-tailored take on the 1940s “Rolls Royce” of mattresses -- the “Aireloom.”

Bloomingdale’s wanted to develop an “ultra-premium bed” and tapped Kluft to design “a line that would accommodate their customers’ affluent lifestyles,” he said.

The Palais Royale features monogrammed handles and more than 10 lbs. of cashmere, mohair and Joma wool. Inside the mattress, layers of Talalay latex and certified organic cotton felt allow for airflow, while thousands of hand-sewn cotton-wrapped steel springs give it a strong support.

“This mattress is fabulous!” reads a costumer review by looking4comfort on Another customer, Balzacnyc, writes, “This is far and away the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever tried.”

With his mattresses he aims to merge exclusivity and accessibility. The goal is to get consumers hooked on the brand, so that they stay loyal and eventually graduate from the “entry-level” mattresses offered to the pricier models.

Kluft is a third-generation mattress maker. In 2004, he founded the company hoping to revitalize Aireloom luxury mattresses -- a beloved American mattress brand.

What distinguishes from other luxury mattress makers -- think Sealy Posturepedic, Shifman, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster -- is that it is a very basic design handcrafted with top quality products.

“It’s not designed in mass based on a single test,” Kluft said.

For those who can’t afford Kluft’s higher-end beds, there’s a new design, the “Aireloom Aspire,” which starts at $1,999, also at Bloomingdale’s. He compares it to Mercedes-Benz’s C Class.

The Aspire Collection will be available in three models. Each mattress is finished with a unique heavy-weight, double-knit cover, and features a stylish chenille fabric.

Kluft promises that once you try one of these beds, “you won’t want to sleep on anything else.”

For more information visit



Terri Stephens 





Throughout 2013, Calgary has led Canada’s upper-end real estate market in nearly every category.

Calgary ended the summer with a strong finish and experts predict sales momentum to continue into fall, as resale and rental inventory remains tight. Strong employment and migration numbers reflecting the city’s continued economic health will drive demand- it is estimated that for every 300 square feet of new office space created, an additional person is added to downtown Calgary.

The high number of executive level jobs created will continue to fuel demand for top-tier real estate specifically, as newcomers take advantage of the city’s relatively affordable real estate market to “buy up”.

In spite of the floods experienced by the city this summer, there is not enough data to date to show any long-term impact on the housing market, particularly in the high-end.


According to Statistics Canada, about one-quarter of Canadians are spending too much on housing costs. “Too much” is defined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as 30% or more of household income. Are you house rich and cash poor?

First off, it’s important to understand what CMHC’s “household income” refers to in order to measure if you are over or under the suggested 30% threshold. They define household income as pre-tax household income, which is a questionable metric due to our tax code.

We have a graduated tax system in Canada where every taxpayer files their own tax return, so there can be a big difference in after-tax income between two households with identical household incomes. A household where two people are earning $50,000 each in Ontario, for example, has after-tax income of about $75,840. A household where one person is earning $100,000 – the same gross income as the $50,000 times 2 household – has only $69,841 of after-tax income. That’s a difference of about 8%, so not immaterial.

What are “housing costs”? According to CMHC, these costs include rent and utilities for renters. For homeowners, included are mortgage payments, property taxes, condo fees and utilities.

Several factors are ignored by the 30% rule of thumb. What if a couple has two cars and they drive long distances to work, so transportation costs are higher than a couple with no cars? What if they have kids? They’re not cheap either.


I have listed a new property at 114 ELDORADO RD SE in AIRDRIE.
Fully Finished 4 Bedroom home with separate entrance into lower level. Lower level has a full bedroom, renovated bathroom plus kitchenette. Private back yard with greenhouse + garden shed. Open Concept upper floor with rich laminate flooring, renovated main bath and freshly painted. Kitchen has been renovated with socializing in mind with a Large dining room area. The minute to enter into this home it offers great living space to make your own. Enjoy the balcony off the living room upstairs with your favorite book. The back yard features a ground level deck with raised garden area. Larger driveway and street parking with easy access to schools and Airdrie Parks. New Roof Shingles Coming soon!! Book your showing today
Categories:   a | Airdrie condos, condos, foreclosures | Airdrie Realtor, Best of Airdrie, Local Resident, Real Estate | Airdrie Stats | Airdrie, Airdrie Real Estate | Aireloom Mattress, Terri Stephens, CIR REALTY | Arbour Lake, Calgary Real Estate | Auburn Bay, Calgary Real Estate | Beddington Heights, Calgary Real Estate | Beltline, Calgary Real Estate | Bridlewood, Calgary Real Estate | calgary homes, airdrie homes, airdrie condos, calgary condos, | Carstairs, Carstairs Real Estate | Cedarbrae, Calgary Real Estate | census, population, fastest growing cities, Calgary Homes, Calgary condos, Airdrie condos | Chaparral, Calgary Real Estate | chestermere, real estate, calgary homes for sale | Citadel, Calgary Real Estate | Coventry Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Crescent Heights, Calgary Real Estate | Crossfield, Crossfield Real Estate | Didsbury, Alberta Real Estate, Acreages | Discovery Ridge, Calgary Real Estate | economy, Alberta, Growth, Buying a home | Evanston, Calgary Real Estate | Evergreen, Calgary Real Estate | every | everything | everything I touch turns to sold | everything I touch turns to sold, Calgary Spring Real estate market, Spring real estate market, Airdrie Spring market | Fairview, Calgary Real Estate | forecl | Forest Heights, Calgary Real Estate | generation x, homeowners, Airdrie Condos, Calgary Condos | Greenwood/Greenbriar, Calgary Real Estate | Harvest Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Hidden Valley, Calgary Real Estate | homes in airdrie | housing starts 2013, Bubble, Alberta, | Lower Mount Royal, Calgary Real Estate | Marlborough Park, Calgary Real Estate | Martindale, Calgary Real Estate | Mayland Heights, Calgary Real Estate | McKenzie Towne, Calgary Real Estate | Millrise, Calgary Real Estate | New Condos in Airdrie | Nolan Hill, Calgary Real Estate | Olds, Olds Real Estate | Out of Province_Alberta, Out of Province_Alberta Real Estate | Panorama Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Pineridge, Calgary Real Estate | Ranchlands, Calgary Real Estate | Royal Le Page Roger LeBlanc | Rural Rocky View MD, Rural Rocky View County Real Estate | Saddle Ridge, Calgary Real Estate | Seton, Calgary Real Estate | Taradale, Calgary Real Estate | TD Bank, ATB, Alberta Housing Market, Calgary, Alberta | terri stephens, cir realty, airdrie realtor, calgary real estate, airdrie real estate, first time home buyers | Thorncliffe, Calgary Real Estate | Walden, Calgary Real Estate
Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.