Wood Buffalo Economic Development

Why Wood Buffalo?

BIG adds up

Throw out the templates. Watch your spreadsheets come alive. Set your goals higher in Wood Buffalo. By any calculation and for a wide range of investment options and opportunities, the numbers here add up to success on a truly extraordinary scale. It starts with a household income more than twice the national average.

  • The projected average household income for 2012 is $189,458 – 103% higher than the national average. Further projection is that nearly 66% of households will have incomes over $100,000.
  • Although, the cost of living is significantly higher in Wood Buffalo than in other parts of Canada, so is the amount of discretionary income. Still, it is recommended for people to research their own situation and earning potential before relocating.
  • Wood Buffalo’s urban core, Fort McMurray, now Alberta’s third-largest city, is creating a retail and service infrastructure that is thriving, but also striving around-the-clock to keep up with the demand. Through the implementation of the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and City Centre Area Redevelopment Plan (CCARP) , it will be the location of choice and a regional centre for commercial and institutional development.

BIG adds up

  • The economy in Fort McMurray and the region is dominated by the natural resource sector, including the oil sands and related activities. Both directly and indirectly, this sector provides more than 67% of all job opportunities. 16 major oil sands projects are presently underway with 8 more under construction, another 19 approved for construction and over 50 projects applied for or announced. Oil production is projected to increase from 1.6 million barrels per day to as much as 6.9 million barrels per day in the next two decades; creating a projected 50,000 direct operational jobs and spurring a population increase of over 125,000. The future doesn’t get any bigger than this!
  • Oil sands development in Wood Buffalo will grow Canada’s GDP by over 2.1 trillion as it grows Alberta’s GDP by 1.9 trillion. Wood Buffalo is a big, enduring and Alberta-based investment opportunity for everything from new start-ups to established corporations.
  • Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake is the only region in Alberta that did not suffer declines in employment during the recession. In fact, it recorded by far the largest employment growth with an increase of nearly 12% over the three year period (2008-2010).
  • With 32% of the population under 25, the Wood Buffalo population is youthful and embraces a lifestyle that is active, ambitious and evolving. Smart, highly skilled and hard-working young people are entering their “acquisition” and family-building phase with the financial wherewithal to have what they want and need. And they want and need a wide variety of goods and services.

View our Reports and Publications

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