Alberta has one of the highest costs of living in Canada. Housing is particularly expensive compared to other provinces. Alberta's tax laws, however, offer some relief from this high cost of living. The province has one of the lowest property tax rates in the country. It has the country's lowest gasoline tax and does not charge provincial sales tax.
These features help residents save money while creating a business-friendly environment that attracts employers.
Alberta Job Opportunities
Alberta produces more crude oil and natural gas than any province. For professionals with the right college educations, this helps create plenty of engineering jobs. Petroleum engineers earn a median wage of C$50.00 an hour in Alberta (C$104,000 annually). This is the country's highest median wage for petroleum engineers.
The oil and natural gas also creates job opportunities for high school graduates without college educations. While labourers in the oil and gas industry earn less than engineers, they can still expect to make about C$25 per hour (C$52,000 per year).
Technology also provides many job opportunities in Alberta. IT consultants in Alberta make between C$22.60 and C$58.24 per hour. The median income for IT professionals in Alberta is C$39.90 (C$83,000 per year). IT jobs within the energy sector may earn even more.
Alberta Employment Trends
Alberta consistently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. In May 2015, Alberta's unemployment rate (5.8 per cent) was only second to Saskatchewan (4.9 per cent). Canada's national unemployment rate during the same month was 6.8 per cent.
Alberta has relied on income from tourism since the beginning of the 20th-century. The province's weather and geography make it an excellent destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
Other growing employment sectors include forestry and agriculture. Alberta's biggest cash crops include wheat, canola and other grains. Alberta also has the country's largest bee population. This helps pollinate crops while also making honey an important source of income for many farmers.