The Owl: Focused on Alberta’s Economy

Retail sales, unemployment rate, population growth, inflation, international trade—these are just a few of the economic trends the team makes sense of in The Owl.

Economics News

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Employment Insurance beneficiaries spiked when CERB ended

When the CERB was phased out, the number of EI beneficiaries spiked in October, with 76 per cent of unemployed Albertans collecting EI that month

Manufacturing gains a few yards in November but no first down

Total sales over the first 11 months of the year were still down by 15.9 per cent or $11.2 billion

Bank of Canada leaves interest rate as is

The policy interest rate has been at the effectice lower bound of 0.25 per cent since March 2020

Chinese economy achieves V-shaped recovery

China was the only major global economy to post positive GDP growth last year

Brakes tapped on new vehicle sales in November

As of November, year-to-date sales of new cars and trucks were down by $1.6 billion in 2020 in Alberta

Like fine wine

The growing number of seniors in Canada’s big cities

Self-employment in Alberta during COVID

Self-employment sometimes goes down during a recession (as it did in 2015 and 2016) and sometimes goes up (as it did in 2009, in 1982 and 1983, and last year)

Investment in building construction edges down again in November

Investment fell by just 0.3 per cent ($6.0 million) compared to October, but was down by 2.7 per cent ($51.3 million) on a year-over-year basis

A tough year for job seekers

A look back at Alberta’s labour market in 2020 (part 2 of 2)

Not a pretty sight:

A look back at Alberta’s labour market in 2020 (part 1 of 2)

Part-time jobs hit hard in December

Over 30,000 full-time positions (1.7 per cent) were added in December while part-time employment fell by 42,200 (-9.5 per cent)

Use of ICT by businesses widespread but perhaps less than you think

Only a quarter of Canadian businesses had at least some online sales in 2019

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