Economic Indicators

Keep up-to-date with the latest economic indicators, including GDP and unemployment. Browse historic trends in Calgary’s economy and view economic forecasts.

Current economic indicators

Get the most up-to-date economic information, including GDP, unemployment and housing starts.



Calgary's Economy

Calgary has been known as Canada's powerhouse.

The city has had one of the strongest performing urban economy in the nation for many of the past 10 years, and is expected to stay on top -- or close to it -- until 2018.

The economy has grown faster than any other major city in the country. Calgary has had the second highest average annual and second highest total real GDP growth over the past 10 years (2004-2013).

The superlatives tell the story. Of the six biggest cities in Canada, Calgary has:

  • The most productive and best-paid workforce
  • The highest personal income and the greatest purchasing power
  • A lower cost of living than either Toronto or Vancouver
  • The second lowest unemployment rate (2013)
  • The second highest total growth in retail sales over the past 10 years (2004-2013)


Summary of current economic indicators - Calgary

Indicator Date Value Change / Rate (%) Geography


Change over year

July 1, 2013 1,468,689
4.2% CER

Inflation rate

Change over year

August 2014   3.2% CMA


Change over year

August 2014 795,600 2.9% CMA
Unemployment rate* August 2014   5.5% CMA

Average hourly wage* (hourly employees

Change over year

July 2014 $26.69 0.2% Alberta

Average hourly wage* (salary employees

Change over year

July 2014 $39.35 5.6% Alberta

Average weekly earnings

Change over year

July 2014 $1,153.81 4.8% Alberta

Gross domestic product

Change over year (Real GDP growth)

Q3 2014


(2007 $ Millions)

3.4% CMA

Retail sales

Change over year

Q3 2014


($ Millions)

5.1% CMA

* Seasonally adjusted, 3 month moving average


Summary of current real estate / construction indicators - Calgary

Indicator Date Value Change/Rate (%) Geography

Housing starts - number

Change over year 


August 2014

12,675 59.9% CMA

Building permit values

Change over year


July 2014

$4.5  Billion 4.4% CER

Major Calgary project values1

Change over year

August 2014 $18.4 Billion -7.9% City of Calgary

Benchmark Calgary house price (single family)

Change over year

September 2014

$512,800 10.6% City of Calgary
Downtown office vacancy rate Q2 2014   10.0% City of Calgary
Suburban office vacancy rate Q2 2014   11.7% City of Calgary
Industrial real estate vacancy rate Q2 2014   3.1% City of Calgary

CER = Calgary Economic Region                
CMA = Calgary Census Metropolitan Area

1 On hold projects removed from total               
Sources: City of Calgary Corporate Economics, Statistics Canada, Conference Board of Canada, CMHC, CB Richard Ellis, Barclay Street Real Estate, Calgary Real Estate Board, Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education