The Alberta Jobs Plan is working to create jobs and diversify the economy in the face of economic challenges.
In August, three months after the introduction of the plan in Budget 2016, the provincial economy began adding jobs, a trend that has continued. Economic forecasts indicate long-term stability.
“Too many families are struggling with job losses and uncertainty, so we took decisive action with a plan that’s creating jobs now. We’re getting back on our feet and we are working together to build a stronger, more resilient and diversified economy Alberta families can count on. And we’ll keep listening to Albertans about how to help stimulate economic growth.”
The programs implemented through the Alberta Jobs Plan are building infrastructure, diversifying the economy, driving business growth and increasing investment in Alberta companies.
Starting in May 2016, the Wood Buffalo wildfire and stubbornly low world oil prices hit the Alberta labour force hard, resulting in three consecutive months of rising unemployment and job losses. Between May 1 and July 31, 27,400 jobs were lost.
Starting this August, the provincewide job loss trend reversed. Between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, the provincial economy added 25,000 jobs.
“Having moved back from Silicon Valley to Calgary, I have never been more confident in this province’s ability, despite the current economic climate, to attack the challenge of innovation, job creation and entrepreneurship head-on. With the firm, long-term, commitment of the government through policy and funding, I feel like a lasting foundation is being laid for individuals looking to create, grow and sustain business in this great province. I made a conscious decision to move back home for this exact reason, knowing that diversification is a true priority and the government is taking a long-term approach to planting the right seeds now to make that happen.”
“Alberta’s commitment to creating a diversified, resilient economy is a key factor in supporting new and innovative businesses. Strategies focused on providing tools, services and supports help entrepreneurs create and grow their businesses.”
“With billions of dollars in infrastructure spending underway as part of the 2016 Capital Plan, today’s update from the Minister of Economic Development and Trade is encouraging news for the cement and concrete industry in Alberta. These investments are providing valuable economic stimulus and ensuring Alberta continues to have the critical infrastructure it requires to prosper. As well, these investments will help sustain competitiveness and jobs in our industry as we, like others in Alberta, continue to cope with current economic conditions.”
The Alberta Jobs Plan includes such initiatives as the $34-billion Capital Plan, Petrochemicals Diversification Program, small business tax cut and enhanced capital through ATB Financial and the Alberta Enterprise Corporation, as well as many others.
Investing in infrastructure
- New infrastructure projects added to the Capital Plan are estimated to sustain an average of 10,000 jobs a year for the next three years.
Diversifying the economy
- New facilities supported by the Petrochemicals Diversification Program are expected to add up to 3,000 jobs during construction and more than 1,000 jobs when operations begin.
- Last year, Alberta’s Agrivalue Food Processing Centre and Business Incubator announced it is expanding its facility, a facility that has supported the establishment of companies which have resulted in more than 500 direct and indirect jobs for the past five years.
Supporting Alberta small- and medium-sized businesses
- In the first quarter of 2016-17, ATB Financial authorized 3,132 loans to small- and medium-sized Alberta businesses worth a total of $754 million, allowing businesses to grow right here in Alberta.
- From 2011 to 2015, Alberta Innovates’ four technology commercialization programs resulted in the creation of an estimated 401 jobs, a number expected to grow with new support this year.
- A 33 per cent cut to the small business tax gave Alberta the second lowest rate in Canada.
Encouraging investment and market diversification
- Alberta’s Modernized Royalty Framework has led to increased drilling this year. By early this fall, more than 129 new wells had been approved, with each well supporting an estimated 135 jobs.
- As of October 2016, AIMCo had made investments in four companies, for a total of $104.5 million in deployed capital under the Alberta Growth Capital mandate, contributing to the overall $1-billion increase in the value of their Alberta holdings.
- Pending legislative approval, the Alberta Investor Tax Credit would support up to 4,400 new jobs over three years and contribute up to $500 million to the province’s GDP.
- Non-oil and gas investment is expected to reach a record high of $38 billion this year.
- Capital investment in manufacturing and service sectors is expected to reach a record high of just over $21 billion this year.
Good jobs begin with a good education
- Approximately 2,700 students were supported in summer jobs this year with the reinstatement of the Student Temporary Employment Program.