Economic results

In 2015, the Alberta economy contracted by -4.0% due in large part to the negative impact of the recent oil price decline. Despite this recent contraction, Alberta led all provinces in economic growth over the past 20 years, with an average annual GDP growth of 3.2% per year.

Economic fast facts

Alberta leads the nation in employment, exports, and investment:

  • Between 2005 and 2015, Alberta's exports of commodities rose 21%, reaching $92.3 billion in 2015. A growing number of those exports are manufactured products and services. By comparison, Alberta exports rose 91% between 2004 and 2014. The much lower 10-year growth rate for 2015 is the result of sharply lower oil and gas prices in 2015.
  • Alberta has had a rapidly growing manufacturing base. Between 2005 and 2015, manufacturing sales grew by 13% to $68 billion.
  • Since 2005, Alberta employment has grown an average of 48,000 new jobs per year: a growth rate of 2.4 per cent per annum. In 2015, employment in the Alberta economy increased by 26,500 from 2014.
  • Alberta’s average unemployment rate in 2015 was the third lowest in Canada at 6.0%.
  • In 2015, Alberta's per capita investment spending was $19,716, the second highest spending of all provinces behind Newfoundland and Labrador, and more than two-and-a-half times the Canadian average of $7,046 per capita.
  • In 2016, Alberta investment is forecast to again drop sharply by 11.9% from 2015 to $66 billion (based on investment intentions for 2016). This decline is again the result of low oil and gas prices which is expected to lead to a 31.3% drop in conventional oil and gas investment, to a 24.5% decline in oil sands spending and to a 36.3% fall in spending by the oil and gas services sector.
  • Alberta leads all provinces in economic growth during the past 20 years, with an average annual GDP growth of 3.2% per year, between 1995 and 2015.

Structure of the Alberta economy

Alberta has capitalized on its strengths in agriculture, energy, forestry and industrial products to develop a dynamic and diverse economy.