So Alberta is the job creation machine in Canada. That’s great news, right? Well we need to look at this a few different ways. Yes, Alberta is leading the country in jobs created over the past year. 82,300 new jobs were created from Feb 2013 – Feb 2014. Impressive for sure! Despite the growth our unemployment rate has remained almost unchanged. How is this possible? The only way that we are able to keep up with that kind of growth is through migration of workers from other provinces. We have that covered too with over 88,000 people moving to Alberta in the same time frame. So we have essentially been able to cover some of the job growth with that migration.
Alberta also has the highest average weekly wage, up 5.4% over last year to $1149.00. All of this is good news overall for the economy, but can create challenges for business owners. The economy is boiling here in Alberta, which means that competition is up in all industries. There were over 4000 businesses incorporated in January 2014. Again more competition, which will likely drive pricing down, but wages higher as we compete not only for sales but for talent as well.
The increase in population is also bringing other challenges. As more people move to Alberta it puts stress on the housing market (prices are rising), construction is booming and infrastructure is suffering. We are running out of doctors, the services offered by governments have taken a hit with layoffs and we still do not have enough people to fill the jobs.
What this means for the small business owner is that we will have to find other ways to attract the talent that is available to our businesses. We need to hang on to our customers and find creative ways to attract new ones without lowering our prices. Overall Alberta’s economic situation is great for the province. But for a province that is driven by small businesses, it will create many more challenges than we have had to face in the past 4 years. How will you cope with economy?
To look at more statistics for Alberta, visit their new Economic Dashboard.