The construction sector plays a crucial role in the Alberta economy. It provides employment opportunities for a diverse range of workers, including architects, engineers and construction workers. The various projects undertaken in the construction sector drive economic growth by creating demand for goods and services required for their completion. Additionally, the construction sector is responsible for the development and maintenance of vital infrastructure, including roads, bridges and buildings, improving the quality of life for Albertans.
Alberta has one of the strongest construction sectors in Canada and has led the country in investment per capita for over a decade. Historically, elevated levels of non-residential investment can be attributed to Alberta’s vast oil and gas sector, which has been seen as a destination for capital construction investment.
The construction sector represents 7.2% of Alberta’s GDP (2021), 9.1% of its employment (2022) and 2.6% of its investment (2022).
Capital construction expenditures highest in oil and gas sector
Information on capital construction spending provides valuable insight into market conditions for the overall economy as well as in particular industries. Capital construction expenditures account for a relatively large proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) and can provide insights on businesses and other organizations’ expectations of future market demand. Historically, Alberta has recorded high levels of non-residential capital construction expenditures in the oil and gas extraction sector.
See more Alberta construction expenditure data here.
Residential building permits make up largest share
Data on building permits is widely used as a leading indicator for the construction industry. A building permit being issued by a county or municipality is one of the first steps in the construction process since the permit allows construction activities to commence. Statistics Canada receives monthly data from over 2,000 municipalities nationally, representing approximately 95% of the Canadian population. Most building permits issued are residential; however, building permits are not required for infrastructure such as roads, pipelines, and water infrastructure, among others types of construction projects.
See more Alberta building permit data here.
Single family home construction decreasing, apartment construction increasing
Alberta has traditionally seen strong construction volumes of single-family homes, which is considered the most expensive home type on a per unit basis. However, in 2014, Alberta began to see just as many apartment units as single-detached units began construction. In 2022, 39 per cent of newly constructed residential units were single family homes.
See more Alberta housing start data here.
Alberta records strong residential building construction investment figures
Investment in building construction is an important measure of economic activity as it reflects demand for new housing and commercial space. It can also provide valuable insights into the overall health of the construction industry and economy as a whole. Though the share of single detached dwelling construction has decreased, it still makes up the largest share looking at different building types. Additionally, Alberta has recently seen strength in the construction of warehouses.
See more Alberta investment in building construction data here.
Alberta Major Projects
If you are interested in the construction industry, we invite you to visit the Alberta Major Projects Inventory, which includes information on upcoming and under construction private and public sector projects in Alberta valued at $5 million or greater.
See the website here: Alberta Major Projects