October 13, 2020

Alberta is a province struggling to get back on its feet, but it’s not all bad news

We know there is so much economic data and information out there, and that you want a way to see it all in a snapshot with a view looking forward and not just back. That’s why we created the Alberta Snapshot, a quarterly executive summary that helps you keep the pulse on what is happening in Alberta’s economy—the good, bad, and urgent.

We use a wide and diverse range of indicators including data on jobs, consumer spending and debt, business openings and closings, population growth, economic forecasts, and more to assess and synthesize economic activity, business conditions, and social well-being in a way that is meaningful to Albertans and Alberta businesses.


Alberta Snapshot Fall 2020—Key Insights

The oil price crash earlier in the year, combined with the COVID economic shutdown, and uncertainty about the future of natural resources in the province have created a perfect storm—hitting Alberta when it was already reeling from five years of relatively sluggish economic growth. We’re not out of the woods yet.

Report Highlights:

Albertans are getting back to work: About 65% of Albertans who lost work due to COVID are back at work. However, employment levels are expected to dip over the next 12 months. Nearly half—47%—of businesses expect to have fewer employees than they do today.

Consumer spending in Alberta has returned to pre-shutdown levels. However, as job growth slows, retail activity will remain flat through the end of the year.

Stronger recovery than initially thoughtOctober global economic growth forecasts now show a less severe decline and a stronger recovery in 2021 for Canada than previously thought. By the end of next year, GDP will reach 98% of 2019 levels.

More businesses are opening than closing. According to the latest month of data, about 7,400 businesses opened or re-opened their doors in Alberta, compared to about 6,900 that shut down: a net gain of 414. Only BC saw a larger net increase in operating businesses.

If you would like to use this report in a publication, please use the following citation.

Business Council of Alberta. Fall 2020.
Alberta Snapshot: A Quarterly Economic Update for Alberta.

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