Economic Highlights for the Week of January 6, 2020

Information & Updates

Economic Highlights for the Week of January 6, 2020

A weekly update of Economic Highlights.

Information & Updates

Economic Highlights for the Week of January 6, 2020

Economic Dashboard Indicators Updated This Week

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

Dec 2019

7.0%

0.6% y/y

Analysis

In December 2019, Alberta's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.0%, an increase of 0.6% from December 2018. The national unemployment rate was 5.6% in December 2019, unchanged from the same period in 2018.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Demographic

WCS OIL PRICE

Nov 2019

$42.32($US/bbl)

283.7% y/y

Analysis

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price of oil, often a world reference price quoted in the media, averaged US$57.03 a barrel in November 2019, 0.1% higher than it was a year earlier. Western Canada Select (WCS), the price obtained for many Alberta producers of oil, averaged US$42.32 a barrel in November 2019, 283.7% higher than it was a year earlier. The differential of WTI over WCS was US$14.71 in November 2019.
 
Alberta

CATTLE PRICE

Nov 2019

$131.04($/hundredweight)

0.1% y/y

Analysis

Cattle prices in Alberta increased by 0.1% in November 2019 compared to the same time period a year earlier, to $131.04 per hundredweight, the highest price in Canada. Calf prices increased by 0.4% year-over-year in November 2019 to $177.23 per hundredweight. Hog prices decreased by 0.7% in November 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier, to $64.96 per hundredweight.
 
Alberta Cattle
Cattle By Province
Alberta Calves
Alberta Hogs

HOUSING STARTS

Dec 2019

3,101(new units)

116.7% y/y

Analysis

In Alberta, urban housing starts totaled 3,101 in December 2019, a year-over-year increase of 116.7%. Canadian housing starts fell by 7.0% over the same period. In Alberta, apartment and other unit types had the largest gain (596.7%), while semi-detached units increased by 52.9%.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Housing Type

ACTIVE DRILLING RIGS

Dec 2019

93

-27.9% y/y

Analysis

The average number of active drilling rigs in December 2019 was 93, decreasing by 36 (-27.9%) from December 2018. The number of inactive rigs decreased by 1.4% from 277 to 273 over the same period.
 
Alberta
By Type

BUILDING PERMITS

Nov 2019

$1.0B

-4.2% y/y

Analysis

In November 2019, Alberta municipalities issued $1.00 billion in building permits, a decrease of 4.2% from November 2018. Nationally, building permits decreased by 2.7% over the same time period. In Alberta, residential permits increased by 1.9%. Industrial permits decreased by 26.0%, and Institutional and governmental permits declined at -10.4%.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Type

EMPLOYMENT

Dec 2019

2.3M

-0.2% y/y

Analysis

Total employment in Alberta decreased by 1,000 jobs between November and December 2019. On a year-over-year basis, employment decreased by 4,200 jobs or -0.2% in December. Over the same period, Canada's employment increased by 1.7% or by 320,300 jobs. Part-time employment had the largest year-over-year change, growing 3.8% compared to December 2018. Full-time employment decreased by 1.1% over the same period.
 
Alberta
By Province
By Type of Work

WHEAT PRICE

Nov 2019

$228.55($/metric tonne)

-9.9% y/y

Analysis

In November 2019, Alberta non-durum wheat prices, which include the weighted average prices of milling and other wheat excluding durum, recorded $228.55/metric tonne, down 9.9% from November 2018. Durum wheat was $301.33/metric tonne in November 2019, 22.8% higher than November 2018.
 
Alberta
By Province

MERCHANDISE EXPORTS

Nov 2019

$8.5B

-12.7% y/y

Analysis

Alberta's international merchandise exports were $8.52 billion in November 2019, a decrease of 12.7% over November 2018. Canadian exports decreased by 2.9% over the same period. In Alberta, the largest year-over-year gains were in industrial machinery and equipment (+3.7%) and consumer goods (+5.8%), while the largest declines included forestry products and building materials ( -20.5%) and basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (-26.5%).
 
Alberta
By Province
By Commodity

WELLS DRILLED

Oct 2019

408

-22.9% y/y

Analysis

The number of exploratory and development wells drilled in October 2019 decreased by 22.9% from the same period a year earlier, from 529 to 408 wells. Development oil wells, which made up 33.8% of wells drilled in October 2019, decreased by 34.9% year-over-year.
 
Alberta
By Type

Top Updates on Major Projects This Week

Tamarack Grove on 17th Residential Development - http://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/Tamarack-Grove-on-17th-Residential-Development/3953
The residential portion of Tamarack's Grove on 17th will feature 4 residential apartment building measuring 6 stories in height. This development will contain a total of 347 apartment units and contain nearly 260,000 square feet of space.

The Hat on 7th Avenue - http://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/The-Hat-on-7th-Avenue/4001
The project involves the construction of a 12 storey apartment complex in downtown Calgary that will feature 66 residential units.

The project was completed in January 2020.

Trout Lake School (K-12) - http://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/Trout-Lake-School-K-12/3403
1 of 2 schools for the Peerless Trout First Nation. Trout Lake School (K-12) will be 5472 m2 in size. It will also feature a Northern Lakes College component of 430 m2. Peerless Trout First Nation to contribute 50% of the project cost. The new [Read More]

Westman Village on Mahogany Lake - Odyssey 2 - http://majorprojects.alberta.ca/details/Westman-Village-on-Mahogany-Lake-Odyssey-2/4003
The project involves the construction of a 5 storey, 70 unit apartment complex for those aged 55+. The building will be part of the broader Westman Village project.

Contact

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