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A strong and stable economy

If there is any community in Alberta that can make the claim of balanced growth, it is Lethbridge. And, we continue to see this claim supported through tracked economic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) along with annual rankings and reports.  Lethbridge has a gross domestic product of approximately $5.8 billion and an urban population of nearly 97,000 in a trading area of over 341,000.  Lethbridge is the hub of the agricultural region of Southern Alberta.

With real GDP growth of 2.4 per cent anticipated for 2017, Lethbridge will outperform the wider provincial economy thanks in no small part to a 2.3 per cent GDP increase in the agricultural sector.

While GDP growth is an important measure in terms of understanding trends over time there are several other economic indicators where Lethbridge shines. For example, the annual unemployment rate continues to be among the lowest in the province, the housing market has remained relatively stable throughout the economic downturn, and there are more than $1 billion in construction projects planned or underway over the next four years. These indicators support our continued claim to balanced growth and economic stability. As a bright spot in the province, Lethbridge continues to shine as southern Alberta’s hub for both traditional industries and emerging technologies. Lethbridge thinkers, makers and does are leading change in agriculture, food sciences, technology and manufacturing within a community that is propelled by innovative research and a spirit of entrepreneurship.

In 2016, Lethbridge ranked fourth among Canada’s Best Places for Business by Canadian Business and PROFIT as well as the second most Business Friendly. According to the results, Lethbridge “boasts an entrepreneurial, integrated science and engineering environment and plenty of food expertise.”

While the stable and supportive business environment certainly adds to the likelihood of success, businesses also benefit from the intelligent, skilled workforce that is supported by two quality post-secondary institutions and one of the largest federal government agriculture research centres in Canada.

Industry and research expertise as well as a reputation of collaboration continue to add to business diversity and opportunity.

Fast Facts:
  • Lethbridge is the second best Alberta community for business according to Alberta Venture Magazine. 
  • Lethbridge ranked 23 among 133 global cities in terms of cost-competitiveness according to the 2016 KPMG Competitive Alternatives study.
  • In the most recent Top Entrepreneurial Cities report, by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Lethbridge ranked 18 out of 121 jurisdictions scoring particularly well in the category of Entrepreneurial Perspective. 
  • Lethbridge ranks fourth among Canada’s Best Places for Business  according to Canadian Business and PROFIT. Lethbridge was also recognized as the second most business friendly place in Canada.
Learn more about Lethbridge's core industries or call us at 403-331-0022, we're always happy to help.

GDP & Economic Indicators

20162017(f)2018(f)
GDP Growth2.6%2.4%2.3%
Unemployment5.9%6.3%5.7%
Population117,000120,000122,000

Sources

2017 Mid-Sized Cities Outlook

Lethbridge CA Labour Market Information

Labour Force Indicator20132014201520162017
Population of Working Age62,90064,60092,600101,40094,300
Labour Force41,60043,80068,20072,50065,700
Employed39,60041,20065,50068,20061,800
Unemployed2,1002,7002,7004,3003,900
Not in Labour Force21,30020,70024,30028,90028,600
Participation Rate66.1%67.8%73.7%71.5%69.7%
Employment Rate63.0%63.8%70.7%67.3%65.5%
Unemployment Rate5.0%6.2%4.0%5.9%5.9%

Notes

* The Lethbridge CA, or Census Agglomeration Area, is a geographic area comprised of the City of Lethbridge urban core and the adjacent County of Lethbridge situated around the urban core.

** Due to constraints in the population sample size which, has resulted in a low confidence interval for the data, it is recommended this data be used with caution.

Sources

Statistics Canada. Table 282-0134 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), by selected census agglomerations based on 2011 census boundaries, annual (persons unless otherwise noted), CANSIM (database).

Building Permit Summary 2008-2017

Building Permit Summary 2008-2017
Housing Starts
YearTotal Dwelling UnitsSingle Family DetachedResidentialCommercialInstitutionalIndustrialTotal
20085384488144.174.633.4233.2
200957643369.730.2120.38.9229.3
201077752186.023.837.439.8188.7
201158034071.945.728.215.2161
20126795019528.154.620.3198
201357446384.183.550.928.7247.5
201446341489.839.285.723.5241
201550546595.571.859.123.4249.8
201648141798.8137.389.711.3337.1
201746841494.935.5168.314.8313.5

Sources

City of Lethbridge, Development Services

Lethbridge Licensed Businesses

Lethbridge Licensed Businesses
YearTotal Licensed BusinessesChange% Change
20135,678220-4.0%
20145,472-206-3.6%
20155,6671953.6%
20165,691240.4%
20175,673-18-0.3%

Sources

City of Lethbridge, Regulatory Services

Did you know head image

Did You Know?

The urban park system in Lethbridge covers 4300 acres.