COVID-19 Updates: Taking steps to return to normal.
“The first three months of 2022 have shown that Alberta’s economy is not only recovering, it is growing. Key economic indicators over the first three months of 2022 show that the province continues on a path to growth.
“There is always a strong focus on jobs, because those are what are closest to Albertans. We cannot talk about economic recovery until it is reaching the kitchen tables of Albertans, and that is what we’re now experiencing. Alberta has not just recovered all of the jobs that were lost during the pandemic, but we have gained jobs. Despite a pandemic and energy price crash, Alberta’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since December 2018 and I am confident that the coming months will see a continued drop in unemployment.
“This is thanks to the increased private sector investment our province is seeing. On a per capita basis, Alberta leads all provinces with private sector capital expenditures. Companies are choosing to grow and expand in our province. In the first three months of 2022, we’ve seen companies like Walmart, De Havilland, Hibiki-Seiki, PACE, Neo Financial, EY, Binance, HCL Technologies, Brane and Unity grow into Alberta and create jobs. In the first three months of this year, Alberta added 22,400 jobs and employment is 4.3 per cent higher than last March.
“The jobs we are seeing created in our province across sectors also show that Alberta continues to lead the country in good-paying jobs. More than 13,000 businesses have incorporated over the past three months, an increase of 4.8 per cent compared with the same period last year. Alberta’s average weekly earnings increased by 2.0 per cent in January 2022 compared with January 2021, to $1,254. Nationally, average weekly earnings were $1,162.
“New jobs also demonstrate the diversification of our economy. Companies growing into Alberta – in addition to local businesses – are coming in every sector from logistics to aerospace to renewable energy, finance and technology. Diversification is not just a buzzword, it is happening.
“Alberta’s reputation in the technology and innovation sector continues to grow. We have incredible talent here and, when paired with Albertans’ entrepreneurial spirit, success is born. In the first quarter alone, Alberta-based startups including Wyvern, PainWorth, Syantra, Avanti, Summit Nanotech, Drink Partake, Virtual Gurus, Validere, Reach, Helcim, Athennian and Arcus Power announced successful financing rounds. In addition, new Alberta-based startups including Entos Pharmaceuticals, Intelliwave Technologies, Stellaralgo, Interface Fluidics, and Tetra Trust announced new partnerships. The real strength of Alberta’s tech sector is in its early-stage deals, which bodes well for the future. All this momentum is helping to make Calgary the top city for tech talent growth in North America, with Edmonton not far behind.
“Our manufacturing sector is seeing growth across sectors. Alberta is one of the top provinces for manufacturing sales growth, with sales totalling $16.1 billion in the first two months of the year – up 30.2 per cent from this time last year. Energy products and fabricated metal product sales grew by 63.7 per cent and 44.3 per cent respectively. Over the same period, Alberta’s wholesale trade increased 23.4 per cent from last year, with growth in every product category.
“Alberta is also leading the country in growth in merchandise exports. Alberta exported more than $28.6 billion in goods during the first two months of this year, up 54.4 per cent from last year. This was led by growth in energy products, which was up by 72.8 per cent year to date.
“Our work to create a business-friendly environment by lowering taxes on job creators and reducing red tape is helping to restore business and investor confidence and attract significant job-creating investment to the province.
“In turn, this is attracting more people to move to Alberta. Edmonton and Calgary are the two most affordable cities in the country, according to a recent report. Globally, that puts Edmonton at No. 4 and Calgary at No. 10 for affordable cities. The most recent net migration numbers, released last month, show positive growth. Alberta’s housing markets are booming and overall building permits are up 7.7 per cent, comparing the first two months of this year with January and February 2021.
“The province’s economy is expected to fully recover to 2014 levels this year, expanding by 5.4 per cent, and be among the nation’s growth leaders. I’m confident that Alberta’s future is bright and we’re just at the beginning of what will be Alberta’s decade.”