Alberta has long been the economic engine of Canada, in large part because of our entrepreneurial spirit.

Every Albertan know the importance of getting our economy back on track so that we can provide more opportunities for those who live and work in our province.

Unfortunately not enough is being done to return Alberta’s economy to a position of strength. We need to get serious about addressing unemployment, the investment climate, and rising costs to businesses.

The government claims that Alberta is experiencing an economic recovery, but too many Albertans are being left out of this recovery. Chronic unemployment, reduced hours, and lower total compensation do not help Albertans get back on their feet.

While much of the economic downturn was a result of declining oil prices, the current government’s strategy of increased costs and overregulation are putting us at a disadvantage relative to other jurisdictions.

Most Albertans are working reduced hours, a reduction equal to roughly a quarter of a pay cheque. Hourly retail workers have been hit especially hard, losing between one to three weeks of earnings. Workers providing social assistance are working one week more per year to serve unemployed Albertans.

Despite Alberta’s growing population, the total number of hours worked has declined. Government investment in infrastructure hasn’t produced noticeably better outcomes for struggling Albertans. There is also evidence that more Albertans are being employed in less secure, part-time work, with more total retail hours worked, but 45 fewer hours worked per retail employee. Average annual income is also down nearly $1,800 a year.

The Alberta Party Caucus knows that the economy is the number one concern for many Albertans. We have stood up to the government on economic issues and we will continue to hold the government to account on the economic health of our province.

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