Housing will benefit from Alberta’s economic strength

Here we grow again; Alberta Finance & Enterprise’s weekly report just released some great news for Alberta. The province posted another gain of 7,500 jobs for the month of October, representing six straight months of gains. While this is great news for Alberta the national employment picture isn’t as rosy as the national economy lost 54,000 jobs last month.

Alberta has experienced the strongest job growth in Canada on a year-over-year basis with gains of 4.3% compared to 1.4% nationally. AFE also states that Alberta has the second lowest unemployment rate in Canada at only 5.1% down from 5.4% in September while the national rate increased from 7.1% to 7.3% over the same period.

The nation is feeling the global effects of the Eurozone’s debt problems, but Alberta is one of the few provinces helping keep the national economy afloat.

Employment gains are obviously a positive step towards propping up the housing market, but what the AFE is really keeping on eye on right now is migration to Alberta.

Our current population is 3,779,000 people, which is a gain of 1.6% over 2010. Year-to-date Alberta has had over 35,000 people migrate here (both international and provincial migration) and what are they going to need is housing, whether that be buying or renting, and employment.

The report also shows Alberta’s weekly average earnings has grown almost 11% since 2009, going from an average of $950.01 in 2009 per week to over $1,033.20. This being said the average household income in Alberta is actually $128,000 while the national average is under $85,000.

Another leading indicator of Alberta’s economy is rig count, on average this year 276 rigs are working every month with over 320 of them working the months of August to October.

The average for 2010 was only 207 rigs drilling while this year is already posting a gain of over 42%, and the drilling season is really just getting started.

The economists have seen the global price of oil stabilize in the $80 to $100/barrel range and the oil companies are back to spending billions of dollars of their investment dollars.

While the companies are investing back into our province after a couple of years of global economic uncertainty they wouldn’t be investing in Alberta if they didn’t fully understand the fundamentals of our economy and the forecasts of the ‘Oilconomy’.

To tie this all together, there’s a ton of great news about Alberta right now, even though the national picture isn’t as clear and there’s some uncertainty in Europe.

All of this is seemingly affecting the stock markets which also affects consumer confidence…but here in Alberta, consumer confidence is strong.

Visit a builder’s show home or a realtors open house OR just try and find a parking spot at a mall!

Jean-Guy Turcotte is an Accredited Mortgage Professional with Dominion Lending Centres-Regional Mortgage Group and can be reached for questions and appointments at 403-343-1125, texted to 403-391-2552 and email to jturcotte@regionalmortgage.ca.