Advice for businesses in Alberta’s transitioning economy
ATB’s Deputy Chief Economist & Managing Director Rob Roach shares how Alberta businesses can address the economic challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for our province.
By Rob Roach 26 October 2022 1 min read
Our province faces a number of major transitions that dramatically affect both the overall economy and individual businesses. At Calgary Economic Development’s 2023 Economic Outlook event I had the chance to discuss them with several subject matter experts. While none of these trends are new, they are intensifying and require immediate action if you want to ensure your business is able to adapt.
Older and wiser: As the large demographic created by the baby boom continues to enter retirement age, the exodus of experienced workers from the labour force also continues. Seek ways to engage older workers so that their skill and experience does not walk out the door with them the day they retire. Doing so will provide organizations with an advantage when it comes to dealing with current and future labour shortages.
The robots are coming: Business owners are acutely aware of how new technology can affect their success. As the practical application of advances in areas such as artificial intelligence, biotech, robotics, the internet of things and 3D printing increases in speed and intensity, businesses will have to decide what tech they need, find the right people to run it, determine how to pay for it and make sure it attracts—rather than alienates—customers.
Energizing the future: The third major trend reshaping our economy is the global energy transition. Things could change, but powerful forces have lined up against the future expansion of Alberta’s oil and gas sector. This could even lead to its contraction over time. We have already seen capital spending decline due to the opposition to pipelines.
Oil and gas will remain a keystone industry in Alberta for a long time, but businesses that rely on its growth will have to be ready for it to either plateau or start to decline. Find ways to adapt to a low-carbon future in terms of your current operations and strategic plans.
On the bright side, the energy transition is creating a range of opportunities in alternative energy and products and services linked to reducing carbon emissions that Alberta businesses can continue to seize.