#StatisticsCanada, #Alberta, #Canada, #GrossDomesticProduct
Alberta, May 2 (Canadian-Media): The latest data released from Statistics Canada Wednesday, proclaimed 2017 to be a year of strong economic growth, with growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 4.9 percent, the highest in Canada, media reports said.
In spite of 18 months of economic recovery leading to high gains in the province's oil and gas sector, the province still remained divided between those who see it and those who do not.
Statistics Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
According to a recent polling by CBC Calgary's 'The Road Ahead' series, over one in three see Alberta's economy moving sideways, while another one in five see it getting worse.
A slight majority of Albertans do not believe that Alberta has recovered from its recession.
The gap between perception and reality, said the reports, is understandable following such a deep recession.
But the data reveals Alberta's an economy is still second to none in Canada.
This is evident from the economical data that employment was up by 3.5 percent from its bottom in the recession, earnings rose by 6.9 percent, wholesale trade increased by 16.3 percent, manufacturing rose by 25.5 percent), exports increased by 46.5 percent, retail sales improved by 0.7 percent and EI recipients went down 42.2 percent
Other positive factors are that there were nearly 40 percent more open job vacancies than an year ago and two-thirds have more jobs today than one year ago.
The unemployment rate reportedly went down to 6.3 percent, from a 2016 peak of nine per cent.
Even employment in the hard-hit oil and gas sector is up by nearly 7,000, and manufacturing up nearly 8,000.
Alberta workers reportedly earn, on average, more than $1,158 per week.
This is not only higher than any other province, by far, but is $52 more per week than when the recession ended in October 2016.
Almost every industry is seeing average wages grow, and three-quarters of the job gains mentioned earlier were in sectors with above-average weekly earnings, such as in resources, utilities, construction, and manufacturing.
The average offered wage of vacant positions in Alberta, according to the latest data, was $22.05 an hour at the end of 2017 , compared to $20.45 a year ago and $19.15 the year before that.
Alberta workers' total wages, salaries and benefits were $830 million more per month at the end of 2017 than at the bottom of the recession.
Compared to other provinces, Alberta reportedly remains on top even if though many do not yet feel it.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)