Alberta’s economy is diversifying, taking the lead
Alberta’s economy turned the corner in 2017, ending the year as the fastest-growing economy in the country with increases in nearly every sector.
This year tens of thousands of full-time jobs were added to Alberta’s economy and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in two years. Average weekly earnings, exports, manufacturing, drilling and housing starts were all up in 2017 and Alberta is expected to continue leading the country in economic growth in 2018.
“Alberta began the year gripped by the recession, but we’re ending the year as the fastest-growing economy in the country. We have more work to do, but it is clear: Alberta is moving forward. All credit goes to the resilient, hard-working and entrepreneurial people of Alberta. By working together we can continue to create new jobs and a more resilient and diversified economy for Alberta families.”
As the economy keeps growing, so does Alberta’s population. Over the past three months it increased by nearly 20,000 people, causing total housing starts over the last year to rise 20 per cent from the previous 12-month period.
Consumer confidence also surged in 2017, reaching its highest level since the end of 2014. As a result, Alberta is setting all-time records in retail and hospitality sales.
With the implementation of the province’s modernized royalty program and the stabilization of oil prices, the number of exploratory and development wells drilled in September 2017 increased 75.4 per cent from the same period a year earlier, from 248 to 435. Per-capita private sector investment also rose to more than twice the national average.
- Average weekly earnings increased 2.3 per cent in 2017 to $1,142, the highest in the country by far.
- In October 2017, Alberta's manufacturing sales increased 14.2 per cent compared with October 2016, to $6.02 billion. Nationally, manufacturing increased only 4.3 per cent over the same period.