CALGARY — Alberta is poised to be Canada’s economic growth leader in the next two years, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook – Autumn 2011.
The board forecasts Alberta to have the highest year-over-year real gross domestic product growth in the country at 3.6 per cent in 2012 and 4.5 per cent in 2013, up from 3.1 per cent this year.
“Alberta is poised to enter another period of prolonged economic expansion. Growing demand for energy from emerging markets is expected to keep oil prices elevated. The construction sector and service industries will also reap the benefits of expected investment in the energy sector,” says the conference board.
“With investment totalling billions of dollars, the construction industry will average annual growth of 5.2 per cent over the next two years — an extremely strong performance given the large drawback in public infrastructure spending in 2012,” adds the report.
It says 81,000 new jobs are forecast for this year, putting increased pressure on an already-tight labour market and keeping employee compensation growing at one of the fastest rates in the country.
The province will create another 52,000 net jobs in 2013, and the unemployment rate will fall below five per cent by the end of the year (down from 6.6 per cent in October 2011), predicts the conference board.