In 2018, 24 Calgary firms topped Canada’s 2018 Growth 500 rankings, averaging over 500% growth from 2012–2017. Also possessing one of the most favorable cost and quality of living standards among major Canadian cities, Calgary is a prime spot for relocation of highly-skilled workers from around the world. This was showcased in 2018 when Calgary placed amongst the most livable cities on the planet, coming in 4th globally, ahead of both Toronto and Vancouver. From lifestyle, to livability, to culture, Calgary has a lot to offer both job seekers and businesses, alike.

However, despite these features, the Calgary economy has historically been one of ups and downs, primarily tied to the energy sector. As a result of the high dependence on this one sector, the economic downturn in 2015 created significant impacts on the province and the city. In 2015, Statistics Canada estimated that the province lost nearly 20,000 jobs in the sector — the highest decline since the recession of 1982 which shed 45,000 jobs. With Calgary making up roughly 30% of Alberta’s population, 29% of businesses, and 31% of total employment, this downturn was felt deeply in the city.

This report is a first step in building an essential knowledge bridge by connecting the missing link between job seekers who are planning to transition into in-demand digital occupations, and tech employers who are suffering from a shortage of the skilled talent essential to grow their business in Calgary.