Economic update: Minister Fir
Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Tanya Fir issued the following statement on Alberta’s economy:
“Alberta’s economy continued to charge full steam ahead in the third quarter, a strong reminder of the importance of having the correct policies and tax structures in place.
“Alberta provides a climate that encourages businesses to invest and grow. Over the third quarter of 2022, we have seen an acceleration in diversification through expansions and new investments. From renewable energy to aviation to manufacturing to technology, companies like EDF Group, TC Energy, De Havilland Aircraft, Condor Airlines, CGC Inc., Orbia’s Dura-Line, Infosys and Level 42 AI are choosing Alberta as the place they want to be.
“Because companies are choosing our province, Albertans looking for work have more diverse jobs to choose from. Our employment over the past three months was up 4,600 from the second quarter, compared with Canada’s decrease of 49,200. Year to date, Alberta leads the country in job growth, a fact we can all be proud of.
“Alberta’s remarkable job growth has been fuelled, in part, by an uptick in net migration, as workers flock to the province in unprecedented levels. In the second quarter of 2022, Alberta saw the highest net inflow of interprovincial migrants in the country, with a net gain of 9,857 people. Most of these migrants came from Ontario (6,281), Manitoba (1,305) and British Columbia (1,090). Over the same period, Alberta welcomed 25,026 international residents. This is good news for our business community, which has identified labour shortages as an area of concern heading into the fourth quarter.
“During the third quarter, the tourism and hospitality sectors have continued to rebound. Hotel occupancy rates in Alberta have largely returned to pre-pandemic levels, reaching 68.1 per cent. In July, Alberta’s restaurant industry enjoyed record sales, reaching $913.8 million, an increase of 16.1 per cent compared with July 2021. Similarly, retail sales increased to $8.1 billion, a 9.9 per cent increase from the same month a year before, second only to May 2022.
“Inflation continues to be a concern, with the consumer price index still above historical norms. In August 2022, Alberta’s consumer price index was six per cent higher than the year before; however, it is down from the highs experienced in early summer, and Alberta had the lowest year-over-year increase of all Canadian provinces.
“Housing starts continue to climb despite a rise in interest rates, increasing by 19.9 per cent compared with a year earlier, whereas starts across Canada were down 4.1 per cent during the same period. Strong housing starts will allow our province to continue to accommodate new residents and provide more opportunities for Albertans looking to enter the housing market.
“A strong economy is important for the prosperity of Albertans. Our government’s efforts have been paying off and we will continue working to diversify and grow the economic engine of the country.”