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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 1.3% anticipated for 2016, Lethbridge will outperform the wider provincial economy thanks to strength in the agricultural industry and modest exposure to oil and gas. From a sector perspective, Lethbridge experienced modest GDP growth in key industries such as Agriculture (2.3%) and Construction (1.0%), while the emerging Information and Cultural Industry experienced the highest sector growth at 3.4%. The report highlights this sector as a ‘bright spot’ locally, as industry output has grown an average of 4% annually during the last decade.

This year, 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

20152016(f)2017(f)
GDP Growth1.1%1.3%1.8%
Employment66,00055,00055,000
Unemployment4.0%4.5%4.5%
Population113,000116,000118,000

Sources

2016 Mid-Sized Cities Outlook

Lethbridge CA Labour Market Information

Labour Force Indicator20122013201420152016
Population of Working Age68,60062,90064,60092,600101,400
Labour Force50,10041,60043,80068,20072,500
Employed47,10039,60041,20065,50068,200
Unemployed3,0002,1002,7002,7004,300
Not in Labour Force18,50021,30020,70024,30028,900
Participation Rate73.0%66.1%67.8%73.7%71.5%
Employment Rate68.7%63.0%63.8%70.7%67.3%
Unemployment Rate6.0%5.0%6.2%4.0%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 2007-2016

Building Permit Summary 2007-2016
Housing StartsConstruction Value (In Millions)
YearTotal Dwelling UnitsSingle Family DetachedResidentialCommercialInstitutionalIndustrialTotal
2007947739108.927.763.519.8220
20085384368144.174.633.4233.2
200962847969.730.2120.38.9229.3
20107775218623.839.239.8188.8
201158034071.945.728.215.2161
20126795019528.154.720.3198
201357446384.183.551.128.7247.3
201446341489.839.288.523.5241
201550546595.571.859.123.4249.8
201648141798.8137.389.711.3337.1

Sources

City of Lethbridge, Development Services

Lethbridge Licensed Businesses

Lethbridge Licensed Businesses
YearTotal Licensed BusinessesChange%
20125,458-400-6.80%
20135,6782204.00%
20145,472-206-3.60%
20155,6671953.60%
20165,691240.40%

Sources

City of Lethbridge, Regulatory Services

Did you know head image

Did You Know?

Lethbridge College, established in 1957, was the first publicly funded college in Canada.