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Industry Profile

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing

Industry Profile

From that first bank account where a child can stash a week's allowance, to a multimillion-dollar merger involving large corporations, the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry handles the money. It's where Albertans go to buy, save, borrow, invest, and insure their assets.

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the overall size of an economy. In 2015, the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry made up 14.2% of Alberta's GDP. This represents a 2.9% increase from 2013.


  • lending companies such as banks, credit unions, credit card companies, and mortgage and loan brokers
  • investment bankers and securities dealers
  • insurance agencies and brokers
  • companies that manage pensions and other funds
  • real estate agents and brokers, property managers, and real estate appraisers
  • businesses that rent or lease assets such as automobiles, electronics, appliances, machinery, and storage units


The finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry employed 103,500 people in 2015. This is a decrease of 700 jobs (0.7%) from 2013.

  • 57,500 women worked in the industry in 2015 (down 3.8% from 2013).
  • 46,000 men worked in the industry in 2015 (up 3.6% from 2013).


The average 2015 hourly wage of $29.47 for the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry was above the provincial average of $29.06.

Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Clerk
Average Hourly Wage
Financial Manager
Average Hourly Wage

Industry Performance

Much of the industry's growth is due to serving the financial needs of the energy sector. The GDP of Alberta's financial services industry grew 57.5% between 2004 and 2014, outpacing the Canadian sector's GDP growth of 30.2% over the same period. In 2014, the industry added $10.6 billion to Alberta's economy. Real estate sales, loans, and other financial services pushed the industry from fifth place in 2014 to third in 2015 in terms of GDP growth. The industry accounted for 4.5% of total employment in Alberta in 2015, and was expected to account for 4.8% in 2016.

However, the drop in oil prices and subsequent job losses has meant that housing sales declined by 9.4% in May 2016 from a year earlier. At the same time, house prices dropped by 0.6%, affecting the real estate and lending industry. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimated the cost of claims for the 2016 wildfire around Fort McMurray to be $3.58 billion, making it the industry's most expensive disaster in Canadian history.

Industry Outlook

Provincial housing starts in 2016 are predicted to be between 24,100 and 26,500 units. The economy is expected to improve and the banking and real estate sectors to recover in 2017. The relatively weak Canadian dollar will also offer business and investment opportunities.

Industry Employment Trends

Employment in this industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.6% from 2016 to 2019.

OCCinfo has more information about occupations in Alberta, including details about duties, working conditions, educational requirements, employment outlook, and salary ranges. You can also find reports on region-specific information about wages, job vacancies, and hiring difficulties in this industry. Visit the Survey Analysis to learn more.

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