According to Edmonton’s Mayor, Don Iveson, “Edmonton is a compassionate, humanistic kind of place. We celebrate our diversity every chance we get, and inclusion is the Edmonton way.” Not only is Edmonton rich with cultural diversity, but its economy is also diverse, and is recognized as a primary location for business and investment in Alberta. With the fifth largest population across Canada, Edmonton plays an increasingly important role in both Alberta and Canada’s economy. Here are some things you likely didn’t know about the Edmonton economy:
- Edmonton is a center for medical and biotechnology research, and is home to 70% of Alberta’s biotech companies.
- There are a higher % of workers in creative occupations in Edmonton than in worker occupations (including tradespersons and manufacturing workers).
- Edmonton is home to an entrepreneurial and innovative business community with small and medium sized businesses dominating the landscape in Edmonton. Approximately 94% of all businesses in Edmonton have fewer than 50 employees.
- Edmonton ranks highly in terms of innovativeness, based on its cultural assets, human infrastructure (including start-ups and finance) and networked market connections.
- The Conference Board of Canada scored Edmonton economy at 0.87, with 1 being a highly diverse economy (Edmonton, Metropolitan Outlook 1, Autumn 2015).
- Edmonton’s highly diverse regional economy is due in part to:
- Sector strengths in industrial manufacturing, engineering, construction as well as transportation and logistics
- Being the home of the Alberta provincial government
- Representing the center for education and health in Alberta
- Sales and service occupations account for the largest proportional share of labour force in Edmonton, with there also being strong representation in occupations in business, finance, administration, trades, transportation and equipment operations. The varied labour force occupations reflect the diversity of the local economy in Edmonton.
- Edmonton has strengths in both traditional and emerging industries:
- Traditional: Energy, engineering and construction, manufacturing and metal fabrication, as well as transportation and logistics
- Emerging: Water and waste water treatment, remediation technologies, waste management, information and communication technologies, and financial sectors.
- The diverse range of goods and service activities has positioned Edmonton to weather economic downturns and provide a range of employment opportunities in the area.
Sources: Technical Report: Economic + Industry Analysis, City of Edmonton – An Economic Development Plan http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/PDF/TWWP_Technical_Report.pdf