Overall, the city’s economy is in good shape and should start climbing out of the recession.
An update on Fort Saskatchewan's economy was given by the city’s economic development director, Mark Morrissey and economic development officer, Mike Erickson, at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon held on Wednesday (Dec.6).
“It seems we may have turned a corner on this downturn. I can’t say that with any confidence because who knows what tomorrow will bring, but we’re seeing some activity again from a departments perspective which is encouraging,” said Morrissey. “We’re cautiously optimistic we’re going to start climbing out of this recession. I know the province kind of agrees with us, they see a light at the end of the tunnel, we can back that up with what we’ve been seeing.”
They reported growth in the commercial sector with number of new businesses coming to the area, such as GoodLife Fitness, Chopped Leaf, Cobs Bread and Freson Bros, just to name a few.
There is also growth in the industrial sector that could benefit the Fort as well.
“At this point in time we’re waiting for Inter Pipeline to make an announcement hopefully in December and also the Pembina Canada Kuwait project, which are both the projects that received the royalty credits from the provincial government, so we’re hoping for that second announcement to happen in the first quarter of next year," said mayor Gale Katchur. "If both of those happen its going to result in increased jobs and quite a bit of changes in this region once again.”
The median age in the Fort is 34.4, a sign of a workable, healthy community.
Locally, there’s a 7.4 per cent unemployment rate, a bit higher than usual. It remains lower than Edmonton (8.8), Calgary (9.5) and the provincial average (9.0).
The average household income is $131,917.