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Alberta: The economy

Reported to have the most abundant economy in Canada, Alberta has enjoyed high GDP and diversity. In the last 20 years, it has been in the lead among all Canadian provinces in terms of average annual economic growth. Despite the high unemployment rate in 2009, the province is expected to bounce back from the effects of the economic crisis, with private sectors predicting that Alberta will lead Canada to economic growth.

According to the Statistics Canada and Alberta Finance and Enterprise, Alberta has enjoyed 109.8 percent change in investment—a much larger number compared to the 67.7 percent of the rest of Canada. Export of goods has grown 102.1 percent, a huge difference compared to Canada’s 0.9 percent. 

Alberta’s impressive numbers stem from its energy industry. In terms of economic diversity, 30.8 percent of Alberta’s GDP distribution comes from energy. The rest of its economic diversity is composed of manufacturing, finance and real estate, tourism services, education, health, retail, construction, and agriculture. The province’s diverse economy makes it an attractive place to start a business or to invest in any of its industries.

Energy is Alberta’s largest industry, producing 71 percent of Canada’s crude oil. The province also produces 81 percent of the country’s natural gas, having the world’s second largest petroleum reserves. Gross revenues from hydrocarbons reached $64.1 billion in 2009—it’s no surprise that the Energy Resources Conservation Board predicts that oil sands production will increase to 2.9 million barrels per day. 

Agriculture also plays a big role in the local economy, with more than 51 million hectares yielding crop and livestock. Alberta composes 21.1 percent of Canada’s total agricultural production, and ranks third in terms of livestock and crop. In terms of shipments, meat products went up to $11.9 bullion 2009, composing more than half of the food and beverage industries’ shipments.