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The Owl Archives

ATB Financial’s economics team interprets the latest statistics on wages, employment, inflation, the oil and gas industry and other economic drivers in our province.


The changing face of mature workers in Alberta
November 22, 2017

The changing face of mature workers in Alberta

The participation rate for people aged 55 and above was 46.6 per cent in October, close to a record high.

Alberta's wholesale activity picks up the pace
November 21, 2017

Alberta's wholesale activity picks up the pace

The strength of Alberta’s wholesale sector continues to be supported by the province’s retail industries.

Alberta posts strong real GDP growth, still challenged by unemployment: ATB’s Alberta Economic Outlook
November 20, 2017

Alberta posts strong real GDP growth, still challenged by unemployment: ATB’s Alberta Economic Outlook

Alberta’s economy is gaining momentum, with oil and gas, agriculture, food processing, tourism, retail and manufacturing all experiencing growth.

Consumer prices still below Bank of Canada target
November 17, 2017

Consumer prices still below Bank of Canada target

The latest data shows that Alberta’s Consumer Price Index in October was marginally higher than September.

Down, but still on top: Incomes in Alberta
November 16, 2017

Down, but still on top: Incomes in Alberta

Alberta is home to 24 per cent of Canada’s highest earners

What are hotel prices doing? It depends who you are
November 15, 2017

What are hotel prices doing? It depends who you are

According to the latest data, some travellers in Alberta are seeing room rates rise, while others are seeing them fall.

Wages in Alberta Part II: Lowest paid workers earnings remain unchanged
November 14, 2017

Wages in Alberta Part II: Lowest paid workers earnings remain unchanged

Employees in Alberta’s food and accommodation sector are the lowest paid in the province.

Wages in Alberta: Part I Highest paid workers see earnings trimmed
November 13, 2017

Wages in Alberta: Part I Highest paid workers see earnings trimmed

Today's Owl examines wages of the highest paid workers in Alberta: those who work in oil and gas.

Housing starts keep strong pace
November 10, 2017

Housing starts keep strong pace

Oil prices are moving higher, retail sales continue to grow and demand for new housing has kept its rapid pace.

Building permits jump
November 09, 2017

Building permits jump

Even though building activity in Alberta’s non-residential sector has slowed, overall, activity has been stable.

Changes to 2016 GDP figure still show significant decline
November 08, 2017

Changes to 2016 GDP figure still show significant decline

The latest report from Stats Canada shows there was little change to its earlier GDP calculations.

Lentils and dry pea prices in Alberta
November 07, 2017

Lentils and dry pea prices in Alberta

Beyond cattle, wheat and canola—see the growth in lentils and dry peas, lesser-known but expanding crops.

How do western provinces stack up in job creation?
November 06, 2017

How do western provinces stack up in job creation?

There’s nothing like good old-fashioned sibling rivalry—especially among Canada’s children of Confederation, the provinces.

Jobs report surprises on the upside
November 03, 2017

Jobs report surprises on the upside

While Albertans are still digging into their Halloween candy, the real treat of the week may have come in October’s job report.

Edmonton home to Alberta's largest Indigenous population
November 02, 2017

Edmonton home to Alberta's largest Indigenous population

Alberta’s Indigenous population is younger and growing faster than the general population—which is good news for our labour market and retail sector.

Restaurant and bar receipts continue to impress
November 01, 2017

Restaurant and bar receipts continue to impress

The latest restaurant receipts data show that during that month of August, Albertans spent $771 million at restaurants and bars across the province

Housing starts set to slow in 2018
October 30, 2017

Housing starts set to slow in 2018

After surprising experts and analysts this year, housing starts in Calgary & Edmonton are forecast to be impacted in 2018.

Drilling activity to provide lift to economic growth
October 27, 2017

Drilling activity to provide lift to economic growth

The latest drilling data from the Alberta Energy Regulator shows that Alberta’s energy sector will be central to of the province’s return to growth.

Wage increases show momentum
October 26, 2017

Wage increases show momentum

After falling flat in July, wages crept higher in August.

Alberta's Indigenous population seeing growth
October 25, 2017

Alberta's Indigenous population seeing growth

Alberta is home to 15.5 per cent of the total Indigenous population in Canada.

Nonprofits working hard to keep up with demand
October 24, 2017

Nonprofits working hard to keep up with demand

As we pull out of the economic downturn, it is a good time to think about the important work done by our nonprofit sector.

Vehicle sales bouncing back
October 23, 2017

Vehicle sales bouncing back

Measuring vehicle sales per capita and comparing these to the rest of the country reveals an interesting trend.

Retail activity dips in August
October 20, 2017

Retail activity dips in August

After shaking off the recession blues in the spring of this year, shoppers in Alberta curbed their enthusiasm somewhat over the summer months.

Employment insurance numbers highlight labour market recovery
October 19, 2017

Employment insurance numbers highlight labour market recovery

One of the hardest hit segments of Alberta’s economy during the economic downturn was the province’s labour market. This year, however, employment has made some real strides.

Manufacturing helps Alberta's economic recovery
October 18, 2017

Manufacturing helps Alberta's economic recovery

After two months of declines, sales from Alberta factory floors were up 1.2 per cent to $5.8 billion in August.

Manufacturing and oil and gas jobs recovering, but slowly
October 17, 2017

Manufacturing and oil and gas jobs recovering, but slowly

Between 2014 and 2016, the average number of people employed in Alberta fell by 0.5 per cent.

Further indications of construction slowdown
October 16, 2017

Further indications of construction slowdown

New data on non-residential construction investment shows construction activity is slowing in the province.

Alberta's relatively young population helps it grow
October 13, 2017

Alberta's relatively young population helps it grow

Alberta was home to 11.7 per cent of Canadians last year but accounted for 27.3 per cent of the country’s natural increase.

International migration to Alberta remains strong
October 12, 2017

International migration to Alberta remains strong

Between January 2015 and June 2017, net migration to Alberta from other countries added 80,000 people to our population.

Oil extraction holds steady
October 11, 2017

Oil extraction holds steady

As the price of oil continues to hover around $US 50 per barrel, oil production levels in the province continue to hold steady too.

Total building permits glide higher
October 10, 2017

Total building permits glide higher

After two months of losses, building permits once again picked up the pace in August.

Alberta's job market backpedals
October 06, 2017

Alberta's job market backpedals

After showing some modest momentum in August, Alberta’s job market backpedalled in September.

The sharing economy continues to grow in Alberta
October 05, 2017

The sharing economy continues to grow in Alberta

While tourism in the province is booming, many Albertans may be starting to use the sharing economy to take advantage of tourism’s success.

Tourism set for solid 2017
October 04, 2017

Tourism set for solid 2017

So far, it’s been a busy year for our province’s tourism operators. As of June, air travel to Alberta had increased 3.3 per cent.

The changing landscape of farming in Alberta
October 03, 2017

The changing landscape of farming in Alberta

The number of farms in Alberta has been shrinking for some time. In 1996, there were 59,007 farms in the province compared to 40,638 last year.

A good time to thank our farmers
October 02, 2017

A good time to thank our farmers

With Thanksgiving only a week away, we can be thankful that Alberta’s agriculture and food manufacturing sectors have performed well during the recent economic downturn.

The love for restaurants and bars grows to new heights
September 29, 2017

The love for restaurants and bars grows to new heights

Alberta’s love affair with eating out appears to be unstoppable because once again, that love has resulted in another record.

Wages stall...again
September 28, 2017

Wages stall...again

After a modest increase in June, wages fell flat again in July. Average weekly earnings in Alberta dropped about one percentage point to $1,125 in July.

Alberta still losing people to other provinces
September 27, 2017

Alberta still losing people to other provinces

Annual interprovincial migration data released today by Statistics Canada show that 15,131 more people left Alberta for other parts of Canada than came here from another province or territory between July 2016 and July 2017.

The cost of eating Part II: Restaurant meals
September 26, 2017

The cost of eating Part II: Restaurant meals

The trend in price increases of restaurant meals has been much smoother than grocery prices because constantly adjusting prices on menus would be both costly and inconvenient.

The cost of eating Part I: Groceries
September 25, 2017

The cost of eating Part I: Groceries

Over the last 10 years, food prices have increased at a much faster rate than most other things we buy.

Despite modest pullback, retail sales remain strong
September 22, 2017

Despite modest pullback, retail sales remain strong

Summer is the time Albertans usually spend enjoying the great outdoors. But maybe the heat and smoky air this July had the opposite effect, driving shoppers into the malls, auto dealerships and big box stores.

Employment Insurance claims pause their decline
September 21, 2017

Employment Insurance claims pause their decline

After eight consecutive monthly losses, the number of employment insurance beneficiaries crept a little higher in July.

Non-residential construction intentions slide lower
September 20, 2017

Non-residential construction intentions slide lower

Certain sectors are still playing catch-up to the downturn that gripped the province over the last few years. Construction activity, is only now starting to show clearer signs of slowing in the coming months.

Monthly manufacturing sales slip again in July
September 19, 2017

Monthly manufacturing sales slip again in July

Yesterday’s sod-turning for a new $360-million frozen potato processing facility in Lethbridge is a shot in the arm for Alberta’s manufacturing sector.

Alberta oil production on the rise
September 18, 2017

Alberta oil production on the rise

Canadian oil output is expected to rise by close to 300,000 barrels per day this year and by another 200,000 barrels per day next year.

Amazon to Edmonton or Calgary?
September 15, 2017

Amazon to Edmonton or Calgary?

Amazon is a company that requires specific types of labour, that’s where both Edmonton and Calgary can offer something that other cities may not be able to.

School's in! Post-secondary enrolment in Alberta
September 14, 2017

School's in! Post-secondary enrolment in Alberta

With a new academic year underway, it’s a good time to take a look at post-secondary enrolment trends in Alberta.

Alberta household incomes highest of all provinces
September 13, 2017

Alberta household incomes highest of all provinces

Alberta leads the way among all provinces when it comes to household incomes according to new data just released.

Alberta coming out of recession
September 12, 2017

Alberta coming out of recession

Today, The Owl looks at how younger workers fared during the downturn.

Alberta coming out of recession
September 11, 2017

Alberta coming out of recession

There’s no question the recession of 2015-16 was difficult for thousands of workers. At the worst of it, Albertans suffered double-digit unemployment.

Employment rebounds modestly in August
September 08, 2017

Employment rebounds modestly in August

After a nasty drop in July, Alberta’s job market bounced back into positive territory last month by adding a few thousand jobs.

Building permits slide and mark slower construction activity
September 07, 2017

Building permits slide and mark slower construction activity

Future construction activity is likely to slow. That’s because, for the second month in a row, building permits have fallen.

Alberta exports begin to slide
September 06, 2017

Alberta exports begin to slide

Alberta’s exports have begun to slide. Between July and June, total exports slipped 6.5 per cent.

Renters in Calgary catching a break
September 05, 2017

Renters in Calgary catching a break

The latest data from the Consumer Price Index show that renters in Alberta’s two major cities might be getting a break, especially Calgary.

Restaurant receipts reach new record
September 01, 2017

Restaurant receipts reach new record

We love to eat out in Alberta. And that love reached record levels in June.

ATB releases latest Economic Outlook: Alberta’s economy on track for growth, challenges remain
August 31, 2017

ATB releases latest Economic Outlook: Alberta’s economy on track for growth, challenges remain

Alberta has said goodbye to the recession, but it will likely be a few more years before a stronger and more resilient economy fully emerges.

Energy patch hiring—but paying workers less
August 30, 2017

Energy patch hiring—but paying workers less

The average weekly earnings for employees in Alberta’s oil and gas sector fell to $2,171.75 in June of this year.

Alberta donors most generous despite recession
August 29, 2017

Alberta donors most generous despite recession

The generosity of Albertans was not curtailed by the first year of the recession.

Construction worker wages flat in Alberta
August 28, 2017

Construction worker wages flat in Alberta

In recent years, the recession has taken a toll on workers’ paycheques in the province.

Comparing manufacturing in Alberta and Ontario
August 25, 2017

Comparing manufacturing in Alberta and Ontario

Manufacturing is a key component of Alberta’s economy. In 2016, manufacturers generated $16.5 billion of Alberta’s real GDP, or 5.7 per cent of the province’s total economic output. This is down compared to before the recession.

E.I. claims continue to fall
August 24, 2017

E.I. claims continue to fall

In another sign that the economy is gradually shaking off the effects of the recession, new data on the job market suggest fewer Albertans are collecting employment insurance benefits.

Oil prices firm under $US 50
August 23, 2017

Oil prices firm under $US 50

It’s been pretty quiet in oil markets lately. Even so, The Owl likes to check in every once in a while to offer an update.

Retail hits a new record high
August 22, 2017

Retail hits a new record high

Alberta shoppers appear to have finally thrown off the recessionary blues, at least according to the latest data released from Statistics Canada.

Consumer prices softer in July
August 18, 2017

Consumer prices softer in July

The price of goods and services in the province continues to show little inflationary pressure.

Manufacturing pauses slightly in June
August 17, 2017

Manufacturing pauses slightly in June

After topping $6 billion in May, the total value of manufacturing shipments in Alberta slipped back slightly in June to $5.95.

New vehicle sales show improving consumer sentiment
August 16, 2017

New vehicle sales show improving consumer sentiment

An improving economy, better job prospects and cheaper credit has likely enticed more Albertans to replace their vehicles.

Unemployment rates by region: Part two
August 15, 2017

Unemployment rates by region: Part two

Yesterday, The Owl explored joblessness in Calgary and Edmonton. The two cities each have 8.5 per cent unemployment, above the provincial average. Fortunately, the job market in some of Alberta’s smaller cities is showing more encouraging results.

Unemployment rates by region: Part One
August 14, 2017

Unemployment rates by region: Part One

The rivalry between Edmonton and Calgary is a long and storied one, usually played out on the football field or hockey rink. But the two cities also compete economically, with usually one of the two boasting the best labour market.

Perch

Each Perch focuses on a topic that’s important to Alberta​ns. So sit back and enjoy.​​

Read Perch now

Alberta Economic Outlook

Alberta Economic Outlook

ATB Financial’s Alberta Economic Outlook summarizes research on Alberta’s most important sectors. It analyzes the province’s economic happenings and outlines what may occur in the next few months.

Todd Hirsch

Todd Hirsch

Todd Hirsch is the Chief Economist at ATB Financial.

Rob Roach

Rob Roach

As a Director of Insight with ATB Financial’s Economics and Research team, Rob examines the economic and social forces that affect Albertans’ quality of life.

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