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The Indigenous economy in Alberta posted a strong comeback in 2021

By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 9 April 2024 1 min read

Statistics Canada recently released their Indigenous Peoples* Economic Account data for 2021 along with updating historical data going back to 2012.  

After a staggering pandemic-driven drop in 2020, incomes earned by Indigenous Peoples in Alberta posted a sharp rebound in 2021. 

The Gross Domestic Income (GDI)** earned by the Indigenous economy in Alberta surged 10.6% in 2021 to $9.8 billion, recovering all of the losses suffered in 2020.

Sitting at the highest level on record, the GDI generated by Indigenous Peoples in Alberta in 2021 was 31.1% above 2012 levels.

Relative to the province’s total GDI, the Indigenous economy represented about 2.6% of the total income in 2021, slightly higher than the 2.4% share observed in 2012. 

Alberta also had the highest GDI earned by Indigenous Peoples in Western Canada between 2012 to 2021.

While Indigenous incomes in Alberta rose across 18 out of 20 industries in 2021, the mining, quarrying, oil & extraction and construction sectors were together responsible for one-third of the aggregate gain.

There was also a healthy pick up in jobs in 2021 but not as strong as GDI. Aided by gains in construction and health care, employment in the Indigenous economy in Alberta was up by 9% to 130,550 but remained 2% shy of the pre-pandemic level set in 2019. Employment was up 14.5% over a ten-year period. 

* Indigenous workers and Indigenous led businesses where at least 50% of the owners identify as Indigenous.

**GDI is defined as the incomes generated by economic activity in the form of employee compensation and business incomes. It is often referred to as income-based gross domestic product (GDP); however, taxes less subsidies on products and imports, are not included as part of Indigenous GDI. As such, all comparisons with the total economy are done at basic prices rather than market prices as presented in the Canadian Income and Expenditure Accounts.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The Economist began circulating in 1843.

Today’s trivia question: What is the Big Mac Index?

Total Gross Domestic Income (GDI) generated by the Indigenous Peoples in Alberta reached a new high of $9.8 billion in 2021

Total Gross Domestic Income (GDI) generated by the Indigenous Peoples in Alberta reached a new high of $9.8 billion in 2021

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