Number of businesses on the rise in Alberta
But still below its pre-pandemic level as of July
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 26 October 2021 1 min read
After decreasing sharply in March, April and May of 2020, the seasonally adjusted number of active* businesses in Alberta has increased—at least slightly—14 months in a row.
As of July 2021, there were 117,399 active businesses in the province, up from a low of 105,512 in May 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic.
July’s level, however, was still 0.6% (702 businesses) below the level in February 2020 before the pandemic.
As of July 2021, the number of active businesses remained below the pre-pandemic level in seven provinces. The exceptions were British Columbia (+2.6%), Saskatchewan (+1.8%) and Manitoba (+0.4%). Newfoundland and Labrador was the furthest behind, with the number of active businesses still down by 5.4%.
The number of active businesses was above pre-pandemic levels in both Calgary (+1.6%) and Edmonton (+0.4%).
Some of the sectors down the most in Alberta compared to February 2020 were arts, entertainment and recreation (-8.4%), mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-4.1%), accommodation and food services (-3.0%) and other services (-3.0%).
Businesses associated with tourism were down by 4.3% compared to before the pandemic.
*Active businesses are those businesses that reported having one or more employees in a given month. Please note that the data quoted above differ from the semi-annual Canadian Business Counts. Statistics Canada is the source for both, but the data above are based on the number of business establishments while the Canadian Business Counts data are based on the number of locations.
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