Statistics Canada's figures showed that employment in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector increased 3.1 per cent year-over-year across Canada in December 2014, with overall employment in Alberta rising 3.4 per cent during that same period.
Employment concerns were the driving forces behind Alberta’s drop in consumer confidence last week, but the Statistics Canada report further supports what the real estate industry on the ground is actually seeing – a healthy market.
“The people who aren’t looking for properties now might be worried about their jobs, but there are a lot of people looking,” said George Bamber, a broker and owner based in Calgary.
Bamber said his agents are still completing sales, despite the Calgary Real Estate Board’s claims that fewer buyers are in the market.
Similarly, Ron Pollock, an agent in Edmonton, said he’s not seeing lower sales – or a reduction in oil production, for that matter.
“There are so many sectors of the Alberta economy that are doing just fine,” added Pollock. “[The drop in consumer confidence] is largely due to the oil industry and, for the most part, it’s only to do with the new developments in the industry.
"Old style producers are doing just fine; they’re even drilling more wells. They’re not slowing down.”
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Reports that tied Alberta’s faltering real estate market to major energy-sector layoffs in the oil-rich province have been all but disproved by the release of the latest data from Statistics Canada.