The city of Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, has more than 930,000 residents. Situated along the North Saskatchewan River, it's the second-largest community in Alberta after Calgary. The metro area has an estimated population of 1.3 million, making it one of the most populated regions in Canada.
There's an incredible number of things to do in Edmonton, including shopping at the largest mall in North America, visiting the largest living history museum in the country, and enjoying the celebrations of Canada's Festival City. The city boasts millions of visitors each year, and many of them decide to move to Edmonton. However, before such a relocation, potential residents should consider Edmonton's economic background. After all, even the best of Edmonton's condos and waterfront homes are most enjoyed in economically and socially compatible communities. Read on to learn a few things to consider about Edmonton's economy.
Industries in Edmonton
The Edmonton community has a strong economic history stemming from the region's role in retail and transporting the natural resources in the surrounding area. However, the city has also embraced many more technological-based businesses with an eye on the future. As a result, the central Alberta region has a strong mix of professions offering jobs and potential opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Number of People Employed By Edmonton Top Industries
Edmonton's food and agriculture industry demonstrates clearly how available natural resources can sponsor a variety of businesses. Around 35% of Alberta's best land for crops is within the region. That makes the area a great place for farming, whether large-scale commercial or small business. In fact, nearly 1.7 million acres of farmland are closely connected to this community.
However, having so much farmland concentrated within this community also contributed to a thriving logistics industry. Growers in the region export products to more than 50 countries with greater than 1.5 billion consumers. Annual agricultural exports from the province amount to $10.8 billion and create around 10,855 jobs. Future residents may be glad to hear about the 81% growth in the sector from 2008 to 2018.
Manufacturing is also a strong asset to the community. Companies in the area make everything from farming equipment to medical technologies. These businesses also contribute to the success of the thriving transportation industry. Annual manufacturing exports bring in about $13 billion and create approximately 50,000 jobs. That's accomplished through more than 2,300 employers in the area operating in fields like petrochemicals, clean technology, and agri-tech.
Outside natural resources related to food, the region also has a thriving energy sector. More than $84 billion is generated each year from oil and gas exports. Just over 32,900 people go to work every day in fields related to power. The province contributes around 82% of Canada's oil sand production and just over half of all proceeds from mineral extraction. The area is also the country's largest cluster of hydrocarbon processing companies.
Top Industries in Edmonton
- Food and Agriculture
- Life Sciences
Top Employers in Edmonton
While the above covers some of the largest industries, some of the biggest employers in Edmonton work outside the above fields. However, this is often because some industries lend themselves better to small firms, while others benefit from operating under large business structures. Some of the largest organizations are government and health care structures that grew in part to provide support to those industries.
There are two organizations in the region with greater than 10,000 employees. Alberta Health Services is the primary health care provider and largest employer within the Albertan province. They have more than 850 facilities and maintain jobs for about 47,500 people. The largest private employer is Suncor Energy, with about 12,400 people on staff. The company produces a variety of petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemical products. Most of the staff work in the Edmonton refinery, but others are involved in everything from logistics to research and development.
With more than 9,900 employees, the City of Edmonton municipal government is the third-largest employer. The organization provides a wide array of services, including Edmonton's public transportation, recreation centers, licenses, and street maintenance. Canadian Pacific Railway Limited has a similar staff size at 9,800. They own and manage about 20,100 kilometres of track across Canada and the U.S.
Rounding out the top five largest employers is Enbridge, Inc., with about 8,000 employees. This company specializes in energy infrastructure such as pipelines, with 20% of the natural gas used in the U.S. coming from the firm.
Additional Large Companies in Edmonton
- PCL Construction
- Workers' Compensation Board - Alberta
- Alberta Blue Cross
- Covenant Health
Information via edmontonjournal.com
Edmonton Economy Facts and Figures
Edmonton is one of Canada's most stable regions. The local economy grew by more than 57% between 1990 and 2003, representing a larger expansion than any other community in the country. Over the past half-decade, Edmonton's GDP, income, and population have grown three times more than the average across Canada.
Annual GDP per Capita in Edmonton
Over the past 10 years, the inflation rate for the community rose at about 1.7%, which is a fairly moderate trend. The average annual wage for 2021 was estimated to be about 70K. Earnings are expected to realize positive growth over the next decade.
The cost of living in Edmonton is about 10% cheaper than the nation as a whole. Goods and services, groceries, and health care are all about the same price as would be found throughout the country. Housing costs, however, are 45% less expensive, allowing people to stretch their budgets more when buying a condo or house. Transportation costs are about 7% less expensive than the average. The only place where new residents can expect higher costs are those related to utilities, at about 32% more than the typical.
Considering a Move to Edmonton?
While it's important to understand the economic background of a community, viewing data is just one part of a relocation decision. Potential residents should also consider the recreational activities, climate, and other lifestyle indicators before the move. However, Edmonton's stable population growth and diverse economy should help most people make a home in Edmonton's many popular neighbourhoods.