Business Research, Reports and Analysis

Government of Alberta Rural Economic Development Action Plan

The Economic Development in Rural Alberta Plan sets out a 5-year commitment that guides rural economic growth, reflecting on innovation, diversification, and sustainable, long-term economic development. The plan outlines 5 strategic directions, each of which connects to supporting initiatives already underway as well as new actions we are taking to ensure rural Albertans have economic opportunities where they live.

Read the plan here.


Occupation Demand Outlooks


NWSAR State of the Region Report

This State of the Region Report aims to provide the socio-economic and environmental conditions of the NWSAR region as of 2020. The NWSAR region consists of the geographic areas of Clear Hills County, the County of Northern Lights and Mackenzie County.

This report builds on government statistics and documents and contextualizes critical economic, social and environmental needs, challenges and opportunities within the NWSAR region. Environmental data and analyses demonstrate the current environmental state and the region's natural vulnerabilities, which directly relate to the socio-economic landscape of the NWSAR region. 

Read the NWSAR report here.


2020 Northern Workforce Summary

NADC (Northern Alberta Development Council) completed a multi-sector summary of employment trends across Alberta’s north. These reports are done approximately every two years to gather valuable insights into northern Alberta's in-demand and difficult-to-recruit occupations.

Findings include the top 10 in-demand occupations: Transport truck drivers, heavy equipment operators (except cranes), Administrative assistants, Heavy-duty equipment mechanics, General farmworkers, Construction trades helpers and labourers, Retail salespersons, Welders and related machine operators, Electricians (except industrial and power system), and Cashiers. 

Read the Workforce Summary report here. 


Labour Education Applied Research North (LEARN) Project

With the rapid changes and advancement of technology, NADC conducted research for Information Technology Related Skills and Training Needs Project for Northern Alberta. This project aimed to understand better the evolving information technology (IT) related skills and training needs to strengthen northern postsecondary institutions' ability and prepare for the future needs of their students, communities, and industries.

Some key findings were; that technology is disrupting key sectors in Northern Alberta, increasing the need for IT skills across nearly all industries; employers expect basic information technology skills among workers, and solutions are required for curricula to maintain relevance among quickly changing technologies. 

Read the LEARN Report here.


Retail Gap Analysis and Light Industrial Review

In 2017, the County of Northern Lights and the Town of Manning partnered to create the Retail Gap Analysis and Light Industrial Review to look at opportunities for expansion and attraction and the market saturation in the current sectors.