What are the Top Calgary Industries Leading the City’s 2020 Economic Development?

What are the top Calgary industries leading the city’s 2020 economic development? Certainly much of the local economic news is currently filled with effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Conference Board of Canada reports that the province of Alberta will hit with the most negative effects due to a combination of the pandemic and declining global oil prices. Since Calgary is the largest city in Alberta, the city and the surrounding region will definitely experience these negative effects.

However, the population of the Calgary Metropolitan Region exceeds 1.2 million residents. As a result, both the city and the region are positioned well for significant future growth. Prior to the pandemic, this year was projected to be the first year of full economic recovery for Alberta.

Top Calgary Industries

According to Calgary Economic Development, there are 8 Key Sectors that drive Calgary and Alberta’s economy. Each sector in turns helps Calgary industries to grow with investments and jobs.

1. Aerospace & Logistics


Autonomous Systems

Spotlight on Aerospace: Calgary home to one of Canada’s busiest airports. Also, one of the nation’s major airlines is located in the city. Several Calgary companies are focused on commercializing aerospace technologies such as drones. Aerium Analytics provides Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flight and analytics to address issues such as airport wildlife management, building inspections, and forestry management.

2. Agribusiness



Value-added Food Processing

Spotlight on Agri-Tech: Agribusiness is one of the top Calgary industries. This sector is poised to be the fastest growing adopter of several transformative digital technologies. Spending on these technologies is expected to increase by 23% from 2019-2022. Decisive Farming focuses on precision agronomy, farm management, and crop marketing with services and technologies.

3. Creative Top Calgary Industries

Film & TV

Production Permits

Calgary Film Centre

Spotlight on Calgary Film Centre: The Calgary Film Centre is located just 25 minutes from the city’s airport. The Centre includes:

4. Energy


Spotlight on CleanTech: The energy sector represents a significant portion of the top Calgary industries. Clean technologies include those that derive from solar, wind, bioenergy and geothermal sources. Calgary industries focusing on energy are the most well-known in the city. Alberta is Canada’s largest producer of natural gas and oil. Over 70% of the province’s CleanTech company headquarters are located in Calgary.

5. Financial Services


Spotlight on FinTech: What is FinTech? This is a term that describes the use of new technology to improve and further automate both the delivery and use of financial services. It may also include concepts such as crypto-currencies like bitcoin. Companies like Bitfury are leading the effort in implementing blockchain technology and artificial intelligence solutions.

6. Interactive Digital Media

Digital Media


Immersive Technology


Spotlight on Gaming: There are over 60 companies in Calgary that produce video games and/or immersive media products. The Calgary Game Developer’s Association has over 800 members and represents a strong talent pool.

7. Life Sciences Top Calgary Industries



Health IT & Medical Devices

Spotlight on Oncology: There are over 110 life science companies in Calgary, making for a sizeable segment of the top Calgary industries. Oncolytics Biotech Inc. is developing an immuno-oncolytic virus to kill cancer. The Calgary Cancer Centre is scheduled to open in 2023. The centre will increase capacity and add to Calgary’s leading role in cancer services.

8. Technology

Digital Transformation

Spotlight on Digital Transformation: Calgary businesses are projected to spend $7.5B on digital transformation (DX) from 2019-2020, representing a 20% compound annual growth rate. What is DX? DX refers to the application of new technologies to change work processes, customer experiences, and enhance value. It’s not just making current technologies work better in a defined process. It is using new technologies to change the process and gain advantages through innovation and disruption.

What Should Employers in the Top Calgary Industries do?

Employers in the top Calgary industries should examine their employment needs as economic growth fosters competition for job seekers with requisite skills and training. They should review their relocation program to determine if it benefits their talent acquisition goals and corporate objectives. Employers should work with a Relocation Management Company that has the knowledge and expertise to help them design a relocation program that promotes talent acquisition.

GMS has recently published several Industry Benchmarking Studies that will help employers in the top Calgary industries learn whether their company’s relocation program is designed following industry-specific best practices. There are many benefits to a corporate relocation policy benchmarking. For example, employers can learn how they can ensure their competitiveness in their industry to attract and retain talent with the highest level of skills and experience.

Industry best practice is to schedule a relocation program and policy review every 12 to 18 months to ensure your company maintains its competitive position. This review will also help your company learn about how the relocation industry is evolving to meet increased employee demands.


GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients develop hiring and recruiting programs to attract highly skilled job seekers. Our team can help your company determine how to attract job seekers looking for employment opportunities in any of the top Calgary industries.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a .com. The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s recruiting, hiring, and relocation program needs as they relate to the top Calgary industries, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

Request your complimentary relocation policy review