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Economic Highlights for the Week of March 4, 2019

Information & Updates

Economic Highlights for the Week of March 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

Feb 2019

7.3%

0.7% y/y

Analysis

In February 2019 Alberta's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.3%, up from the 6.6% rate that was registered a year earlier and up from last month's 6.8% rate. The national unemployment rate was 5.8% in February, matching February 2018's rate.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Demographic

CATTLE PRICE

Jan 2019

$139.90($/hundredweight)

-3.7% y/y

Analysis

Cattle prices in Alberta decreased by 3.7% in January 2019 compared to the same time period a year earlier, to $139.90 per hundredweight, the highest price in Canada. Calf prices decreased by 1.3% year-over-year in January 2019 to $180.49 per hundredweight. Hog prices decreased by 13.6% in January 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier, to $64.28 per hundredweight.
 
Alberta Cattle
Cattle By Province
Alberta Calves
Alberta Hogs

OIL PRODUCTION

Jan 2019

16.8M(m3)

2.5% y/y

Analysis

Oil production in Alberta was 16.80 million cubic metres in January 2019, up 2.5% compared to January 2018. Non-conventional (or oil sands) production constituted 83.1% of all oil production in Alberta in January 2019. Production of non-conventional oil was up 1.6%, while conventional oil production increased by 7.0% on a year-over-year basis.
 
Alberta
By Type of Oil

HOUSING STARTS

Feb 2019

1,394(new units)

-18.3% y/y

Analysis

In Alberta, urban housing starts totalled 1,394 in February 2018, a year-over-year decrease of 18.3%. Canadian starts decreased by 29.3% over the same period. In Alberta, single-, semi-detached, and row-units decreased 33.8%, 46.8%, and 37.0% respectively, while apartment units increased 65.8%.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Housing Type

ACTIVE DRILLING RIGS

Feb 2019

144

-34.2% y/y

Analysis

The average number of active drilling rigs in February 2019 was 144, decreasing by 75 (-34.2%) from February 2018. The number of inactive rigs increased 18.2% from 203 to 240 over the same period.
 
Alberta
By Type

EMPLOYMENT

Feb 2019

2.3M

0.6% y/y

Analysis

Total employment in Alberta increased by 3,800 jobs between January 2019 and February 2019. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 13,700 jobs or 0.6% in February. Over the same period, Canada's employment increased by 2.0% or by 369,100 jobs.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Type of Work

BUSINESS INCORPORATIONS

Feb 2019

3,528

-17.3% y/y

Analysis

In February 2019, the number of businesses incorporated in Alberta totaled 2,916, a decrease of 17.3% from the same period a year earlier. Alberta incorporations were down 18.2% to 2,597, while non-Alberta incorporations were down 9.6% from a year earlier to 319.
 
Alberta
By Type

WHEAT PRICE

Jan 2019

$252.53($/metric tonne)

-0.1% y/y

Analysis

In January 2019, Alberta non-durum wheat prices, which include the weighted average prices of milling and other wheat excluding durum, were $252.53/metric tonne, 0.1% lower than prices in January 2018. Durum wheat prices in January 2019 were $243.31/metric tonne, 13.5% lower than January 2018.
 
Alberta
By Province

NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

Jan 2019

9.2B(m3)

-2.6% y/y

Analysis

In January 2019, marketable natural gas production was 9.25 billion cubic metres, down 2.6% from January 2018's production level.
 
Alberta

BUILDING PERMITS

Jan 2019

$1.03B

-7.0% y/y

Analysis

In January 2019, Alberta municipalities issued $1.0 billion in building permits, a decrease of 7.0% from January 2018. Nationally, building permits decreased 0.1% over the same time period. Residential permits decreased 12.3% year over year, and institutional and governmental decreased 47.1%, while industrial increased by 17.6%, and commercial increased by 22.3%, over January 2018.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Type

Top Updates on Major Projects This Week

Woodhaven Middle School Modernization - https://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/Woodhaven-Middle-School-Modernization/3098
The project will upgrade and modernize the Woodhaven Middle School over three phases.

Lake Louise Water Infrastructure Upgrades - https://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/Lake-Louise-Water-Infrastructure-Upgrades/3823
Construction of new sewage lift station and forcemain to service the Harry's Hill neighborhood in Lake Louise. Access road improvements to the reservoir site. Construction of a new watermain to connect the new potable water reservoir to the existing [Read More]

Contact

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