January 12, 2022

Alberta forecasted to lead the country in recovery in 2022, but we are still a long way away to go to return to pre-pandemic life

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 Winter 2022—Key Insights

In our previous update, we reported that thanks to increasing vaccination rates, strong consumer activity, and high commodity prices, among other factors, Alberta’s employment recovery was on pace with other provinces in Canada.

Much of this still holds true going into 2022 and has even improved. In fact, TD forecasted in its December report that Alberta was set to lead the provinces in growth. However, lingering concerns about the impact of Omicron and other potential variants cast a grey sky over a full recovery to both pre-pandemic economic activity and a return to normal, daily activities.

Report Highlights:

Alberta’s economy continues to be resilient and rebounding nicely. Thanks to a variety of factors including strong vaccination rates (85% of Albertans 12+ are now fully vaccinated), strong performance in new home builds and real estate activity, and high commodity prices, business leaders are optimistic, employment levels are very near pre-COVID levels, and Alberta is forecasted to lead Canada in economic growth in 2022.

However, the reality is that the daily lives of many Canadians still look much different than they did in early 2020. As of the latest normalcy index report from The Economist, which tracks this data, Canada saw one of the biggest declines in normal activity—going to sports games, the cinema, the office, or using public transportation. This is most likely due to the recent rise in Omicron cases and various restrictions halting many leisure activities and shifting how and where people spend their time and money.

The spread of Omicron had led to some short-term labour shortages as employees cycle in and out of isolation. However, some of the long-term challenges shared in previous editions of the Snapshot remain, including the struggle many businesses face in finding workers with the right skills and increased competition for talent.

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

Business Council of Alberta. Winter 2022.
Alberta Snapshot: A Quarterly Economic Update for Alberta.

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