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Have you ever imagined starting fresh abroad? Wouldn’t it be great to transfer your skills, earn a superior salary while enjoying a high quality of life and leisure time? Well, if you feel its time for a change then read on…

This article focuses on the province of Alberta in the Western region of Canada, which is currently entering a remarkable growth cycle and creating quality job opportunities for workers and their families who are looking to relocate.

Where?

Alberta is home to the Rocky Mountains, West Edmonton Mall, the Calgary Stampede and the massive growth engine we call the Oil Sands. The province is Canada’s economic powerhouse spanning 661,848 square kilometers comprising a unique landscape made up of prairies, rivers and lakes throughout. The Rocky Mountains form the western border to British Columbia. This rich area is dotted with pristine glacier lakes and abundant wildlife such as bear, elk, sheep and deer.

Dip your paddle in the fresh, glacier water and travel downstream to unspoiled emerald green lakes. Tether your canoe and enjoy a picnic on a secluded, grassy shore or drop by one of the many artisan cafes to enjoy a hearty lunch prepared from local ingredients. Adventures wait in every season.

Alberta is a popular tourist spot for worldwide travelers that share a love of nature with the 3.8 Million diverse and multicultural people that call the province home. You’ll find ample room in this welcoming province for everyone.

And with direct flights from Alberta to all the major U.S. hubs, it’s easy to visit relatives back home or have them join you for an exploration in Canada.

Map: www.education.canada.com
Alberta Map
Calgary
 

Why?

Why is Alberta a good place to relocate to?

To put it simply, Alberta’s economy is expanding and the labor force is shrinking. Alberta needs more workers to fill almost every category of job.

With economic ties to the U.S., Canadian employers embrace the opportunity to work with folks from the States. Canadians and Americans alike have a strong work ethics, as well as value their free time and family time making it a priority to strike harmony between the two.

The new occupational demand and supply outlook (2011-2021) forecasts that Alberta will generate over 606,000 jobs and approximately 492,000 new workers will join the labor force by 2021. It also predicts that the province could face a cumulative labor shortage of up to 114,000 workers across all sectors by 2021, up from the previous shortage of 77,000 workers forecast two years ago.

“There’s no way around it, Canada’s petroleum industry will struggle to find the workers it needs over the next 10 years,” said Cheryl Knight, the council’s executive director and CEO.

Strong employment growth is expected to continue through 2014 at an annual average of just under two per cent. The unemployment rate is expected to drop to 4.5 per cent by 2014. This decrease in the unemployment rate could lead to labor shortages in specific high-growth industries and occupations.

Source: Government of Alberta Human Services

Economy

Alberta has capitalized on strengths in agriculture, energy, forestry and industrial products to develop a diverse economy. As Canada's energy province, Alberta is home to more than 60 percent of the country's conventional crude oil reserves and all of its heavy oil and oil sands reserves.

Other key industries include petrochemicals, agriculture and agri-food, forestry and wood products, tourism, information and communication technology, nanotechnology and microsystems, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and health technology and services.

Alberta is the only province in Canada with no provincial sales tax and our personal income tax is the lowest in Canada. This positive business climate attracts investment and allows Alberta businesses to compete successfully around the world.

Alberta’s economic advantages include:

Source: www.albertacanada.com

 

Quick Facts

  • On average, the province’s 3.8 million people are the youngest of all Canadian provinces, with a median age of 35.8 years.
  • One of every six Albertans was born outside of Canada.
  • Over the past 20 years, Alberta’s economy has led the nation in average annual economic growth, and is poised to lead again in economic growth by 2012.
  • The energy sector is Alberta’s driving economic force and is supported by other key industry sectors: petrochemicals, agriculture and agri-food, forest products, industrial machinery and metal fabrication, tourism, and information and communications technology.
  • Alberta’s international airports in Edmonton and Calgary provide excellent air service to both domestic and international destinations.

Source: www.energy.alberta.ca

Housing, Wages and Happiness:

“Canada has a brilliant future. Alberta is vital, and growth in Alberta is vital, for Canada’s jobs growth and prosperity in the future,” the Canadian Finance Minister said, later adding: “In many ways, Alberta is the centre of the Canadian economy today.”

Are you Happy? The United States ranks 11th  whereas Canada is ranked 5th happiest country in the world, according to the UN’s World Happiness Ranking on the social and economic wellbeing of nations.

It finds the world has, broadly speaking, become a “little happier” in the past three decades, as living standards have risen.

What’s not to be happy about? Living in a country that is safe, clean, has excellent health care, remains affordable and offers growth and opportunity in the workplace is envious to especially for those that come from beleaguered countries or unstable economies.

How Much Does it Cost to Live In Alberta?
 
Alberta is currently the most affordable province to live in all of Canada. Here you have the highest incomes and lowest taxes, making your money stretch the farthest.

Alberta: attractive affordability spurs housing market activity

Alberta's housing affordability levels remained attractive in the first quarter of 2012, with RBC's measures for the province standing among the lowest, if not the lowest, across the country. A strong provincial economy and relatively affordable housing pushed home resale activity up 11.5 per cent year-over-year. As Alberta continues to lead the country in economic growth this year, RBC expects brisk housing activity to persevere.

  • The long-awaited resurgence of Calgary's housing market appears to have launched in recent months. Home resales were up a notable 7.4 per cent in the first quarter, compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Still, home prices have remained flat, for the most part, keeping housing affordability in check, with some of the best levels among Canada's largest cities. RBC expects the home resale market resurgence to continue through the remainder of the year.
Average, minimum and maximum rental rates based on House rental listings posted by Edmonton property owners / managers over the past year 2011-2012:
 
Bedrooms:
Average:
Minimum:
Maximum:
n/a
$1,163
$175
$2,100
1
$810
$401
$1,750
2
$1,112
$500
$3,300
3
$1,496
$495
$3,200
4
$1,777
$430
$4,795
5
$1,895
$650
$3,600
6
$2,303
$1,495
$3,000
7
$2,395
$2,395
$2,395

Canadian Cities Average House Prices
January 2012
City
Average House Price
12 Month Change
Vancouver, BC
$752,000
- 1.3 %
Toronto, Ont
$464,000
+ 8.5 %

Calgary, Alb

$382,000

- 3.1 %

Ottawa, Ont
$350,000
+ 6.0 %
Montreal, Que
$311,000
+ 5.6 %
Regina, Sask
$285,000
+ 9.5 %
Halifax, NS
$259,000
+ 2.9 %
Fredericton, NB
$159,000
+ 10.7 %
 
---------------
Wage Snapshot


PROVINCIAL TOTALS

$24.84 combined hourly average

 
OCCUPATION TITLE
Food Service Supervisors
38.0
$13.28
12%
 
Farm Supervisors and Specialized Livestock Workers
44.0
$18.61
9.9%

Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technologists and Technicians

39.6
$33.02
9.8%
 
Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
42.0
$31.41
9.1%

Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety

37.7
$37.10
7.2%
 
Mechanical Engineers
39.9
$47.60
6.7%
 
Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers
48.4
$26.98
6.0%
 
Truck Drivers
47.7
$25.69
5.9%
 
Welders and Related Machine Operators
41.5
$32.25
4.8%
 
Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers
42.7
$21.55
4.3%
 
Human Resources Managers
38.4
$47.92

4.0%

Note: Only those vacancy rates greater than the provincial/regional totals are reported in these tables. Source: 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Alberta Human Services.

When?

 
Canada Housing
 

Housing in Alberta is ranked in the #1 position for affordability based on income versus the cost of living.  At 32.7% of the median Alberta salary going to pay for housing, coupled with low interest rates, you can buy property at bargain prices.

Source RBC Report Q3 2012
http://www.rbc.com/newsroom/images/HA-Canada-1122-2012.jpg
 
With a growing economy, spectacular nature and an easy transition from life in the States, Alberta is not only a smart place, but a welcoming place to make home.

Whether you are looking to move to Canada for a career opportunity or seeking a safe haven for your investment capital, Alberta is the definitive choice.  If you’re interested in learning more about moving overseas, checkout this international moving guide and checklist.