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The digital economy in Alberta

The digital economy in Alberta

Posted on: 5/6/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

The digital economy in Canada produced $109.7 billion of nominal GDP in 2017 or about 5.5 per cent of the total, according to Statistics Canada. The digital economy in Alberta generated $11.4 billion or about 3.6 per cent of the province’s GDP in 2017. Alberta’s share of the national digital economy was 10.4 per cent.

Statistics Canada defines the digital economy as “activities that enable or are highly affected by digitization.” This includes everything from telecommunications equipment to e-commerce to streaming services. Even at just 3.6 per cent of Alberta’s GDP, the digital economy is larger than, for example, agriculture and forestry, accommodation and food services, and utilities.

In per capita terms, Alberta has the third largest digital economy in the country at $2,679 of GDP per Albertan. Ontario has the largest digital economy ($3,867 per capita) followed by British Columba ($2,775 per capita).

The number of jobs associated with the digital economy in Alberta was 73,237 or about 3.2 per cent of all jobs in the province in 2017.

The data come from Statistics Canada's initial estimates of the value of the country's digital economy. While we are still at the early stages of understanding and tracking the economic contribution of the digital economy, it is significant and is expected to grow. The growth of Alberta’s digital economy will depend on our ability to seize the opportunities digitization presents in the face of stiff competition from other jurisdictions trying to do the same thing.

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