January 19th, 2022

Alberta economy and job growth picking up steam


By Lethbridge Herald on January 14, 2022.

NATHAN NEUDORF – MLA for Lethbridge East

First, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I can’t think of a time when a fresh start was needed more, and I’m confident that 2022 is our year. I know I’m not the only one hoping that we will finally ‘get past’ COVID and return our focus to things other than the pandemic.

I believe that we have several things to look forward to in Lethbridge. It’s worth noting that, despite a rough couple of years, Lethbridge’s economy has been stable and, along with the rest of Alberta, now leads Canada. 

Throughout our city and across the province, businesses are posting signs looking for more labour to help meet new growth and demand — a welcome problem to have after some challenging years. In addition, post-secondary enrollment is up, which is good news for Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge. Both have almost recovered to pre-pandemic enrollment levels and plan to continue growing their sector-leading programs.

In December, educational services witnessed the most significant gains of all industry sectors in our area this month as employment jumped by 1,200 from November. Province-wide, Alberta gained a total of 130,000 jobs in 2021. 

In Lethbridge specifically, transportation and warehousing gained an extra 500 jobs this month alone, the first monthly increase recorded since May 2021! Lastly, the sixth consecutive monthly increase in public administration saw a growth in employment by 500 jobs in December. 

Lethbridge’s housing market has been on fire, in the best of ways. More than 2,300 homes were bought and sold in Lethbridge and the surrounding area last year, a solid jump from 1,666 in 2020. According to the Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors, the total value of all homes sold was a record $1.1 billion. 

While the past few weeks have been a bit on the chilly side, it is great news to see our snowpack building up. Let’s hope that it continues so that whatever weather we face in the spring, summer, and fall we will be able to have a strong growing season. 

While 2020 was one of the best years on record for moisture, 2021 was extremely dry in our southern zone, and we relied heavily on our irrigation to make it through. Good management by our irrigation districts, farmers, and ranchers has been essential, but having a buildup of moisture in the ground and the mountains is more than welcome.

With agriculture being such a key sector in Alberta, it’s exciting to see 2021 shaping up to be a record year for Alberta’s farmers – with farm cash receipts (FCR) coming in at their highest levels ever.

 Alberta ranked first across Canada in total FCR, livestock market receipts, cattle and calf receipts and program payments. Alberta’s total third quarter FCR increased 15.8 per cent from the same period in 2020, to a record $13.3 billion. Crop market receipts were up 18.7 per cent to a record $6.5 billion, largely due to exceptionally strong prices. Livestock market receipts increased 14.1 per cent to a record $5.8 billion.

In Alberta, we will also see the impact of some incredible investments unfold in our province. First in engineering and construction, and then in development and production – hydrogen, film and television, financial technology, renewable energy, and petrochemical manufacturing saw billions of dollars invested. Not to mention Lethbridge is part of and a partner in four major regional collaborations capitalizing on our natural strengths. We can expect growth in agri-food, transportation and logistics, technology, and finally, renewable energy. 

One of my roles is to represent Alberta at the Council of State Governments, West, Mid-West and National. This year I was able to strengthen those relationships and celebrate our investment with the opening of trade offices in the three cities of our largest trading partners – Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington.

 In a typical year, Alberta would see approximately $50 billion a year of trade with these three states combined. In total, Alberta averages about $100 Billion in trade with the United States each year (when not impacted by a pandemic), and strengthening these relationships on topics like energy, water, and environment are significant. I also spoke with representatives from California, Alaska, Michigan, Quebec, and Saskatchewan and offered invitations to host them all to come see what makes Alberta great.

While this New Year has started cold and near the end (hopefully) of a two-year pandemic, there is a lot to look forward to for Lethbridge and Alberta! No matter how it has started, may this year end as your best one yet!

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Southern Albertan

Too late. The Kenney UCP have cooked their goose too much and too often to be attempting to sing distracting praises.

IMO

“The key element of social control is the strategy of distraction that is to divert public attention from important issues and changes decided by political and economic elites, through the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information.”― Noam Chomsky

Alberta WAS great.

As an MLA, is it not your key role to represent your constituents in Edmonton?
Why no mention of recruiting doctors, nurses, educators? How is it that you are not concerned that K-12 schools have yet to be retrofitted to ensure the safety of staff and students? What happened to the promise that students would be equipped with N95 masks on their return to school? When will your government put a stop to defunding post-secondary education? Where are any low income housing initiatives? What plan has been developed to address homelessness and the opioid crisis in your constituency? Where is your voice in protecting the Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains from surface coal mining? The list is endless.
Moreover, how much is it costing your constituents for offices to be opened and staffed in Chicago, Denver and Seattle?
Fool me once? Shame on me. Fool me twice? Shame on you!

buckwheat

Look at all the NDP economic wizards checking in here. Money grows on trees and nothing to with a good economy and job growth. Who knew. You’d be all happy if they has tossed 100 mil at a PFA. Look at it this way. Better economy, job growth, more for you to milk, quit crying.

Southern Albertan

Perhaps, it took plenty of non-wizardry for the AB Conservatives, after Lougheed to, not, follow his ‘Six Principles’ for resource development: “Behave like an owner, Collect your fair share, Save for a rainy day, Add value, Go slow, and Practice statecraft.” Some of us are old enough to remember the 40 some years that it took for the AB Conservatives to keep pissing it away until the next boom.

buckwheat

The usual whataboutism. Anything good for the province and it’s citizens is bad for the NDP cultists. Yep the cons pissed it all away on bloating public service and making Doctor’s nurses and teachers the highest paid in the country with massive benefits and it still isn’t enough for you whiners

Last edited 3 days ago by buckwheat
Southern Albertan

No, it got pissed away with not doing what Lougheed recommended in his ‘Six Principles.’ i.e. too low royalty rates, not saving enough from the industry, not adding value….Doctors, nurses, and teachers are not the straw that broke the camel’s back. Albertans, us, who actually own/owned the resource were cheated by $100s of $billions. Albertans sure did not collect a fair share of the oilsands wealth. Where’s the money? It’s sure not in the Heritage Trust Fund as it was meant to be, by Lougheed.

TonyPargeter

Buckwheat: utter silence.



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