Alberta looks to be moving out of recession into a modest recovery. The government’s latest quarterly update shows 18,000 jobs have been created since July 2016, mostly in the oil and gas sector. There are also 119 drilling rigs operating in January, which is the highest total in two years.
“A full economic recovery will take time after such a long downturn, but we are starting to see encouraging signs for Alberta in the year ahead,” says Finance Minister Joe Ceci. “Some challenges still remain and that’s why we are sticking to our plan of putting Albertans to work by creating good jobs and diversifying our economy.”
Ceci says the province is going to bring in $1.5 billion more by the end of the fiscal year on March 31st than what was expected. However, that’s being offset by increased spending and the $1.1 billion, one-time expense to start phasing out coal power.
The province is still forecast to end the fiscal year with a $10.8 billion deficit. In order to keep it from going up, its $700 million risk adjustment cushion is being used.