The economy of Calgary has been traditionally associated with commerce and distribution. Recently, it has developed into a center for finance and world energy as shown in its notable national position in the site of offices, which includes Enbridge, TransCanada, and Suncor Energy.
The majority of workforce in Calgary is leaning towards the commercial, management and professional sectors. Most of the jobs are dominated by building, oil supply and railway professions. Businesses have expanded from developing products for oil, natural gas and agriculture to creating products from chemicals, machinery, fabricated metals, food, furniture, high-technology, and motion picture sectors.
In 2003, the creation of the Wireless City project further added to the increasing role of the city as a leader and innovator in wireless technology. Innovate Calgary, which is a cooperative enterprise composed of the city of Calgary, the University of Calgary and the city’s Chamber of Commerce, oversees the Alastair Ross Technology Centre located in Northwest Calgary.
Calgary’s economy is slowly being controlled by the oil and gas sectors, though the mentioned sectors are still the main contributor to the GDP of the city. In 2006, the real GDP of Calgary was approximately C$52.386 billion, where oil, gas, and mining contributed about 12%. The big oil and gas companies established in Calgary are Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Encana, Suncor Energy, BP Canada, Cenovus Energy, Nexan, TransCanada, Imperial Oil, Husky Energy, and Shell Canada, which makes the city home to 87% of oil and gas producers and 66% of coal producers in Canada.
Last November 2016, the work force of the city was estimated to be 901,700 with a 74.6% participation rate and 10.3% unemployment rate. In the same year, the unemployment rate of the city was one of the lowest in all the major cities in Canada at only 3.2%, which led to shortage of skilled and unskilled workforces.
The city of Calgary is among the faster-growing cities in Canada. Since 1980’s, it has become heavily reliant on the oil industry, which is a risky industry. During the mid to late 1980’s and early 1990’s, a period of recession in the oil industry, the city suffered consequently.
In the late 1990’s, Calgary greatly profited from the constant oil price increase. As mentioned above, many of the headquarters of oil and gas companies along with coal companies can be found in the city of Calgary. In the course of time, the economy of the city has expanded; however, energy still remained as its most vital economic sector.
The city of Calgary is has the second-most number of head offices in Canada (after Toronto). Big companies that have head offices in Calgary include, Agrium, Flint Energy Services Ltd., Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada Safeway Limited, Suncor Energy, Shaw Communication, and Westfair Foods Ltd. The Canadian Pacific Railway transferred its head office in 1996 from Montreal and Imperial Oil transferred its head office in 2005 from Toronto. The Bow, which is the new corporate headquarters of EnCana, is considered as the highest building in Canada outside Toronto. And in 2001, TSX Venture Exchange placed its headquarters in Calgary.