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Economic Highlights for the Week of February 4, 2019

Information & Updates

Economic Highlights for the Week of February 4, 2019

A weekly update of Economic Highlights.

Please note: In compliance with the Election Act, publication of Weekly Economic Highlights will cease during a provincial election period.

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Economic Dashboard Indicators Updated This Week

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

Jan 2019

6.8%

-0.2% y/y

Analysis

In January 2019 Alberta's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8%, down from the 7.0% rate that was registered a year earlier and up slightly from last month's 6.4% rate. The national unemployment rate was 5.8% in January, down slightly from last January's rate of 5.9%.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Demographic

EMPLOYMENT

Jan 2019

2.3M

0.5% y/y

Analysis

Total employment in Alberta decreased by 15,500 jobs between December 2019 and January 2019. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 10,700 jobs or 0.5% in January. Over the same period, Canada's employment increased by 1.8% or by 327,200 jobs.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Type of Work

BUSINESS INCORPORATIONS

Jan 2019

3,906

1.6% y/y

Analysis

In January 2019, the number of businesses incorporated in Alberta totaled 3,906, a decrease of 4.1% from the same period a year earlier. Alberta incorporations were down 5.9% to 3,477, while non-Alberta incorporations increased 13.2% from a year earlier to 429.
 
Alberta
By Type

WHEAT PRICE

Dec 2018

$256.23($/metric tonne)

0.4% y/y

Analysis

In December 2018, Alberta non-durum wheat prices, which include the weighted average prices of milling and other wheat excluding durum, were $256.23/metric tonne, 0.4% higher than prices in December 2017. The average non-durum wheat price in 2018 was $253.34, 5.6% higher than 2017. Durum wheat prices in December 2018 were $239.98/metric tonne, 15.6% lower than December 2017. Durum wheat had an average price of $260.49 in 2018, down 5.5% from 2017.
 
Alberta
By Province

CATTLE PRICE

Dec 2018

$135.55($/hundredweight)

-2.9% y/y

Analysis

Cattle prices in Alberta decreased by 2.9% in December 2018 compared to the same time period a year earlier, to $135.55 per hundredweight, the highest price in Canada. Cattle prices averaged $139.94 in 2018, 2.1% lower than in 2017. Calve prices decreased by 5.3% year-over-year in December 2018 to $177.96 per hundredweight. Calf prices averaged $179.82 in 2018, 0.4% lower than in 2017. Hog prices decreased by 9.6% in December 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier, to $61.46 per hundredweight. Hog prices averaged $71.23 in 2018, 8.8% lower than in 2017.
 
Alberta Cattle
Cattle By Province
Alberta Calves
Alberta Hogs

HOUSING STARTS

Jan 2019

1,668(new units)

1.6% y/y

Analysis

In Alberta, urban housing starts totalled 1,668 in January 2018, a year-over-year increase of 1.6%. Canadian starts decreased by 4.2% over the same period. In Alberta, single- and semi-detached units decreased 22.6% and 40.2% respectively, while row and apartment units increased 24.4% and 61.2%.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Housing Type

BANKRUPTCIES

Dec 2018

21

133.3% y/y

Analysis

Alberta business bankruptcies increased 133.3% from 9 in December 2017 to 16 in December 2019. Business bankruptcies increased 23.7% in 2018 compared to 2017. Consumer bankruptcies in Alberta decreased by 2.3% from 350 in December 2017, to 342 in December 2018. Consumer bankruptcies were down 1.7% in 2018 compared to 2017.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Type

BUILDING PERMITS

Dec 2018

$1.1B

0.1% y/y

Analysis

In December 2018, Alberta municipalities issued $1.1 billion in building permits, an increase of 0.1% from December 2017. Nationally, building permits increased 10.6% over the same time period. Residential permits decreased 22.0% year over year, while industrial increased by 157.4%, institutional and governmental increased 41.0%, and commercial increased by 25.9%, over December 2017.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Type

Top Updates on Major Projects This Week

Wapiti Gas Plant - https://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/Wapiti-Gas-Plant/3371
Construction of Wapiti Gas Plant with the capacity to process up to 20,000 MMcf/d of raw sour gas and 20,000 barrels/day of condensate.

Carmangay Grain Elevator - https://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/Carmangay-Grain-Elevator/3810
The project consists of a new 42,000-tonne grain elevator in Carmangay that will have transportation infrastructure to load 134-grain car trains per hour.

South Calgary Solar Farm - https://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/South-Calgary-Solar-Farm/3811
The proposed project consists of a 25 Mw solar farm that will sit on 156 acres of land off Barlow Trail SE in Calgary. The solar farm would contain 1,576 solar panels and power up to 4,500 homes.

Prana Living Apartments - https://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/Prana-Living-Apartments/3609
Construction of a 200,000-square-foot apartment complex that includes six-story above grade, and two-story below grade underground parking. Entire complex will have 220 units, located in Skyview.

New Publication Editions This Week

One-Off Publication
February 5, 2019

This study examines key characteristics of Alberta medium-sized enterprises, and makes recommendations for how government can best serve their needs.

Contact

For questions about the Weekly Economic Highlights, please contact economiclink@gov.ab.ca