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Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing

From that first bank account where a child can stash a week's allowance, to a multimillion-dollar merger involving large corporations, the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry handles the money. It's where Albertans go to buy, save, borrow, invest, and insure their assets.

GDP Gross Domestic Product

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the overall size of an economy. In 2015, the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry made up 14.2% of Alberta's GDP. This is a 2.9% increase from 2013.

Alberta’s GDP
Increase from 2013
  • lending companies such as banks, credit unions, credit card companies, and mortgage and loan brokers
  • investment bankers and securities dealers
  • insurance agencies and brokers
  • companies that manage pensions and other funds
  • real estate agents and brokers, property managers, and real estate appraisers
  • businesses that rent or lease assets such as automobiles, electronics, appliances, machinery, and storage units

The finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry employed 106,000 people in 2016. This is an increase of 2,600 jobs (2.5%) from 2015.


46,600 men worked in the industry in 2016 (up 1.3% or 600 jobs from 2015)


59,400 women worked in the industry in 2016 (up 3.3% or 1,900 jobs from 2015)

Average Wage
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing
Average Hourly Wage
Average Hourly Wage
  • The average 2016 hourly wage of $29.96 for the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry was above the provincial average of $29.61.
Industry Performance

In 2015, Alberta’s share of the Canadian industry’s GDP was 11.5%. This put it in third place behind Ontario and Quebec. By 2016, the real estate, rental and leasing sector had pushed from ninth to seventh place in terms of provincial GDP rank. And even though the Fort MacMurray wildfire had insurable losses of $3.6 billion, the finance and insurance sector rose from third to second place. The industry accounted for 4.7% of all employment in Alberta in 2016. It was expected to account for the same amount in 2017.

A bright spot in the real estate sector was the need for warehouses of all sizes. Businesses and households put off moving into larger work or living spaces, or actively looked for smaller spaces. This meant that the demand for storage, especially in mini-warehouses, increased. As e-commerce becomes more popular, more warehouses where product can be stored and sent out quickly are needed. However, this is causing less of a demand for retail space.

After the slump in home sales and prices in the middle of the decade, home sales in the first 5 months of 2017 rose 12.8% to 23,369 units from the same period in 2016. Average prices for the same period increased 2.5% to $402,557. Sales of all types of property increased in value to $2.8 billion. This 8.7% jump over the same period the previous year shows that Alberta’s real estate industry is on the right track for recovery.

Industry Outlook

With housing starts improving and business confidence picking up, the industry is expected to do well. The Bank of Canada said in July 2017 that it would raise its key rate from the 0.5% level it set in 2015 to counter the effects of low oil prices. This will increase the industry’s profits for loans, variable mortgages, and lines of credit. Canada’s relatively weak dollar will continue to attract international businesses looking for investment opportunities.

Industry Employment Trends

Employment in this industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.6% from 2016 to 2019.

OCCinfo has more information about occupations in Alberta, including details about duties, working conditions, educational requirements, employment outlook, and salary ranges. You can also find reports on region-specific information about wages, job vacancies, and hiring difficulties in this industry. Visit the Survey Analysis to learn more.

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