Economic picture improving

The signs show Alberta's economy is looking up.

Overview

After experiencing its worst recession in decades, Alberta’s economy is on the road to recovery. Independent analysts have forecasted that Alberta’s economy will grow faster than any other province this year.

Most economic indicators are trending upward. Employment is up – more people are working. Housing starts are up – people are investing long term. Retail sales are up – people are spending more too.

And while not everyone is feeling it, and there is more work to do, our economy is gathering momentum – and things are looking up.

Job vacancies up

There were 35,000 job vacancies in July 2017, a 35% jump from the year before. The sharp lift in job opportunities is a welcome sign that Alberta’s economic recovery is gaining steam.

A job is considered vacant if a specific position exists, work could start in within 30 days, and the employer is actively seeking candidates from outside the organization to fill the role.

Job vacancies: July 2016-July 2017
 

Record restaurant receipts

In an improving economy, we expect to see people spending more money dining out.

Restaurant and bar sales reached record highs for 4 consecutive months this summer. Albertans spent $771 million at restaurants in August, eclipsing the previous record set the month before.

Restaurant receipts: Aug 2016-Aug 2017
 

Drilling activity boosts growth

446 new wells were drilled in Alberta in Aug 2017, a jump of 92% from one year previously.

The increase in development and exploratory wells (natural gas, coalbed methane, crude oil and crude bitumen) indicates energy producers are gaining confidence after a difficult two-year stretch.

Wells drilled: Aug 2016-Aug 2017
 

Vehicle sales on the rebound

New vehicle sales increased 18.4% between Aug 2016 and Aug 2017 – providing an important indicator that consumer confidence is improving.

The number of new vehicles sold in all of Canada increased only 7% over the same period.

New vehicle sales: Aug 2016-Aug 2017
 

Manufacturing sales up

Sales from factory floors in Alberta reached $5.8 billion in August, a 9% jump from the year before.

Increased manufacturing shipments, including fabricated and primary metals, plastics and rubbers, is an important signal that the economy is in recovery mode.

Manufacturing sales: Aug 2016-Aug 2017