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Construction in Lethbridge

Apr 16, 2018
At Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL), we work with a diverse group of community partners, organizations and business sectors to bring new enterprise and talent to the city, while helping existing businesses and entrepreneurs expand and grow. Lethbridge’s construction industry plays an important role in demonstrating to prospective investors that we have the capacity to build what they need.

With strength in key industries like construction, manufacturing and agriculture Lethbridge continues to display its hallmarks of stability and diversity. In order to better understand the local economy and trends impacting local businesses, EDL tracks and analyzes several different economic indicators. For example, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates are used to measure the economic output of value-added production in a country or region as well as measure the relative contribution of an industry sector. Lethbridge’s GDP currently sits at more than $5.5 billion. The construction industry, with an employment base of 6,000, has a GDP of $321 million which accounts for 6% of the total.  

Building permit values, another indicator that we track, are a measure of investment in the construction of new and revitalized buildings. Tracking this measure enables us to evaluate short term development and can provide insights into the state of the economy and the sector. Lethbridge issued $313.5 million in building permits in 2017, down 7% from the previous year.  While the overall total was down, it is important to note that the 2017 figure is still the second highest on record.  Institutional permits led the way with an annual total of $168.3 million which is a record high.  Activity levels in our area remain elevated in comparison to other mid-sized cities in the province, as witnessed by a per capita building permit total that exceeds that comparable values in Medicine Hat and Red Deer by 77% and 110% respectively.

Highlights included the groundbreaking for Cavendish Farms’ new $360 million frozen potato processing plant in Sherring Industrial Park., the largest private investment in Lethbridge's history, and part of the more than $1 billion in major developments planned or underway over the next five years.

The continued growth of the construction sector in Lethbridge contributes to the economic diversity that is at the heart of our city’s economic stability. As our population moves towards 100,000, collaboratively embracing opportunities that add to our economic diversity will help us mindfully plan for a bright future. And, in doing so, we are also able to plan a great community.

At Economic Development Lethbridge, our role is to support collaboration within and the continued evolution, growth and prosperity of this vital sector. We do this by working with the Lethbridge Construction Association, through initiatives like Team Lethbridge, a group of community leaders raising awareness Lethbridge’s contribution, and by providing with individual businesses and entrepreneurs with support for growing and expanding their operations.

For 2018, we will continue to work to fulfill our mandate of supporting local businesses and attracting new investment to our community. We look forward to continuing to work with the LCA and the industry it represents to make Lethbridge the bright choice for new enterprise and talent, while helping existing businesses and entrepreneurs expand and grow.

- Written for the Lethbridge Construction Association Maagazine (2018)

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