Greater Edmonton

Review the Business Climate

Business Climate Indicators

The Business climate is the general economic environment that local businesses operate in. Reviewing and understanding the local business climate provides valuable insights about the economy, costs, risks, and incentives. We have compiled the most important aspects of the Region’s business climate as an interactive dashboard below. This dashboard provides valuable economic, resident, household, dwelling and development indicators that may influence the success of your business.






Median Age





Average Household Size


Household Size Distribution


Household Type






Dwelling Type


Dwelling Construction Period


Home Ownership





Costs and Financial Assistance

Whether you have a new or existing businesses it is critical to be aware of costs, incentives and grants that impact your business. This dashboard provides you with a snapshot of the major costs of conducting a business in the Region as well as information on available financial assistance.

Corporate taxes

In comparison to other provinces, businesses in the Greater Edmonton Region benefit from an Alberta advantage when it comes to corporate income taxes. Specific benefits include no provincial sales tax, no payroll tax, no health care premiums, lower personal income tax rates and the lowest fuel tax of any province in the country. Alberta continues to be a great place to do business thanks to its infrastructure, strong urban growth centers, increasingly diverse economy, growing population and lucrative investment opportunities.

Effective July 1, 2015 the general Alberta corporate income tax rate is 12 per cent. The Alberta small business income tax rate is 2 per cent for eligible small businesses with income up to $500,000.

The combined federal/provincial corporate income tax rate in the Edmonton Region is 27 per cent for general businesses, 14 per cent for small businesses, and a competitive corporate income tax rate is in place for manufacturers. Businesses in the Edmonton Region also benefit from the fact that Alberta has no inventory tax, no machinery and equipment tax and no payroll tax, which are common in many other provinces and U.S. states.

The Edmonton Region is committed to fostering a strong and diverse workforce that capitalizes on the inherent strengths of the region. The Region boasts competitive location-sensitive costs for standardized commercial and industrial operations.

The Edmonton region benefits from more modest labour rates in many categories when compared to other major Alberta centres, and is even more competitive with other Canadian and U.S. cities.

Consider the Greater Edmonton area’s advantage versus costs in other major centres:

  • Vancouver: 1.1% higher than Edmonton
  • Toronto: 3.2% higher than Edmonton
  • New Orleans: 6.1% higher than Edmonton
  • Denver: 7.9% higher than Edmonton
  • Houston: 8.9% higher than Edmonton

A summary of the average hourly earnings for the Greater Edmonton Region is shown in the table below. Learn more

Major Industry Year Average Hourly Wage
Agriculture 2015 $16.68
Forestry, logging, fishing, and hunting 2015 $29.52
Oil and gas extraction 2015 $40.34
Utilities 2015 N/A
Construction 2015 $34.66
Manufacturing 2015 $29.70
Wholesale trade 2015 $29.87
Retail trade 2015 $18.97
Transportation and warehousing 2015 $27.77
Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing 2015 $27.90
Professional, scientific and technical services 2015 $36.08
Business, building and other support services 2015 $21.34
Educational services 2015 $36.24
Health care and social assistance 2015 $28.70
Information, culture and recreation 2015 $18.93
Accommodation and food services 2015 $14.89
Other services 2015 $28.43
Public administration 2015 $39.29

Source: Alberta Wage and Salary Survey 2015

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta was created by government to administer the Workers Compensation Act for the province’s workers and employers. Funded by employers the WCB provides cost-effective disability and liability insurance for work related injury and illness. The WCB compensates workers for lost income and coordinates the health care and other services that may be required to recover from a work-related injury. Learn more

Workers Compensation
Average Cost for All Manufacturing (per $100 Payroll) (Per $100 of insurable earnings) $0.24 - $2.94
Average Rate for Office Workers (Per $100 of insurable earnings) $0.13 - $0.25
Maximum Weekly Benefit (90 % of maximum insurable earnings $98,700) $1,225.61

Source: WCB rates by sector and industry

The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is the governing federal body for all legislation related to employment insurance (EI) in Canada. Businesses must deduct employment insurance from an employee’s insurable earnings if that employee is in insurable employment during the year.

Insurable employment includes most employment in Canada under a contract of service (employer – employee relationship). There is no age limit for deducting EI premiums.

Learn more: Canada Revenue Agency, Employment Insurance for Employers

Employment Insurance
Taxable Base Annual maximum insurable earnings $51,300.00
Rate % Employer contribution rate 2.282%
Average Among Existing Employers Annual maximum employer contribution $1,170.67

Source: Payworks Payroll Legislation

The leading employers in Greater Edmonton come from a wide range of industries, with locations that are spread throughout the region. Increasing diversity and economic investment will continue to fuel expansion and the introduction of new employer based establishments. The Edmonton Region, chosen for it’s strategic location, competitive business climate, available workforce and extensive logistical network is home to the headquarters of several large global firms as well as a substantial number of primary, secondary and tertiary organizations that drive Alberta’s energy sector.

The top 25 employers in the Greater Edmonton region are listed in the table below:

Company Location Product/Service Employment
PCL Employees Holdings Ltd Edmonton Bank holding companies 16,380
Stantec Inc Edmonton Engineering services 15,200
Katz Group Inc Edmonton Drug stores and proprietary stores 8,000
Bee-Clean Building Maintenance Inc Edmonton Building maintenance services 7,000
Brick Ltd., The Edmonton Furniture stores 5,700
Alberta Treasury Branches Edmonton Savings and loan institutions 5,250
Jacobs Industrial Services Edmonton Building maintenance services 5,000
AutoCanada Inc Edmonton Bank holding companies 4,000
Brick Warehouse LP, The Edmonton Furniture stores 3,759
EPCOR Utilities Inc Edmonton Water supply 2,795
ColasCanada Inc St. Albert Bank holding companies 2,711
Lilydale Inc Edmonton Poultry and poultry products 2,700
Chemco Electrical Contractors Ltd Nisku Electrical work 2,500
S-I IPVF CANADA, INC Edmonton Paints, varnishes, and supplies 2,500
Servus Credit Union Ltd Edmonton State credit unions 2,400
Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd Edmonton Bank holding companies 2,250
North American Construction Group Inc Edmonton Heavy construction 2,200
Lockerbie & Hole Inc Edmonton Industrial buildings and warehouses 2,010
Cash Store Financial Services Inc, The Edmonton Personal credit institutions 2,000
B. Gingras Enterprises Ltd Edmonton Building maintenance services 2,000
Canadian Western Bank Edmonton National commercial banks 1,928
Fountain Tire Holdings Ltd Edmonton Auto and home supply stores 1,804
K-Bro Linen Inc Edmonton Industrial launderers 1,800
Flint Field Services Ltd Sherwood Park Oil and gas field services 1,750
Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited Edmonton Brick, stone, and related material 1,700

Businesses in Greater Edmonton benefit from:

No provincial sales tax

No payroll tax

No inventory tax

No machinery and equipment tax

No health care premiums

Free provincial health care insurance

Lower personal income tax rates

The lowest fuel tax among provinces

Small business income tax rate of just 2%

Corporate income tax rate of 12%

More Resources/Info

While we are providing you with a range of valuable information about the business climate, the fact is that there's much more available. In this section we provide you with links to other websites that will supplement our information and help to keep your finger on the pulse.

There may also be other municipal and provincial costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.

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Contact Us

EEDC Trade and Investment Division
3rd Floor, 9990 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB  T5J 1P7

+1 780-424-9191
+1 800-661-6965 (International)