Alberta’s unemployment rate is expected to remain high through 2018, according to ATB Financial’s latest outlook report for the province.

Read: More young Canadians looking for work: StatsCan

But there’s also good news: in a release, ATB says the province’s economy is gaining momentum, “with oil and gas, agriculture, food processing, tourism, retail and manufacturing all experiencing growth.”

The November report finds:

  • after two years of recession, Alberta is emerging with real GDP growth of nearly 4% in 2017, likely the strongest in Canada;
  • the province’s retail and housing sectors have improved;
  • oil prices have steadied (as of Nov. 17, WTI closed above US$56 while Brent closed above US$62); and
  • Alberta’s energy sector is expected to grow this year, particularly in conventional drilling.

“[…] The recession is firmly behind us,” says Todd Hirsch, ATB Financial’s chief economist. “Unfortunately, it may not feel that way for many Albertans as we continue to struggle with an unemployment rate of nearly 8%.”

ATB Financial’s economics team forecasts real GDP growth of 3.9% in 2017, followed by growth of 2.7% and 2.2% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

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