Infographic: Fort McMurray 2016 Wildfire – Economic Impact

Release date: March 16, 2017
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Infographic: Fort McMurray 2016 Wildfire – Economic Impact
Description for Infographic: Fort McMurray 2016 Wildfire – Economic Impact

Did you know?

  • There are 71,589 residents in this area and 30,713 private dwellings.Footnote 1
  • 14.6% of the national workforce in the oil and gas extraction industry work in this area.Footnote 2
  • The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire burned 5,890 km2 of land, this is about the size of Prince Edward Island.Footnote 3
  • Approximately 8% of all private dwellings in this area were destroyed by the fire.Footnote 4

Impact on hours workedFootnote 5Footnote 6

Total work hours lost in Fort McMurray area (thousands of hours)
Sector May and June combined
Natural resourcesFootnote * 2668.1
Construction 1339.6
Wholesale and retail trade 769.5
Accommodation and food services 640.6
Health care and social assistance 640.3
All other sectors 2459.6
Total work hours gained in Alberta, excluding Fort McMurray (thousands of hours)
Sector Gained
May June
Public administration 481.8 194.5
Natural resourcesFootnote * 186.0 247.9
Transportation and warehousing 106.1 91.1
Manufacturing 100.5 117.0
Construction 97.8 120.4
All other sectors 633.9 569.9

The wildfire impact on National Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Estimated -0.4% – An estimated -0.4% impact on the real GDP in the second quarter of 2016.Footnote 7

Declined 20% – Real GDP in the non-conventional oil extraction industry declined 20% in May.Footnote 8

ExportsFootnote 9
Exports of energy products Q2 2016 Q3 2016
Crude oil and crude bitumen -7.0% +5.0%
Refined energy products -16.4% +8.7%

Building permit increases signal rebuilding for the areaFootnote 10

Building permit data are widely used as a leading indicator for the construction industry.

Since June 2016, over 854 building permits have been issued which signals rebuilding for the affected households.

Residential Building Permits - Wood Buffalo
Dates Value of permit in thousands of dollars Number of permits
October 2015 2,919 41
November 2015 1,197 26
December 2015 546 22
January 2016 1,475 26
February 2016 4,445 17
March 2016 1,029 24
April 2016 389 19
May 2016 30 1
June 2016 1,308 12
July 2016 16,053 44
August 2017 12,660 79
September 2016 37,782 151
October 2016 57,173 297
November 2016 40,451 166
December 2016 33,103 105

The Fort McMurray wildfire was the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history for insurance providersFootnote 11

Highest insured losses for disasters in Canada (Figures expressed in constant 2015 dollars)
Place Year Dollar amount
Quebec ice storm 1998 $2.2 billion
Toronto rains 2005 $740 million
Alberta Slave Lake fire 2011 $780 million
Power outages in Southern Ontario, Easter Canada 2013 $1.7 billion
Alberta Flooding 2013 $1.9 billion
Alberta hailstorms 2014 $575 million
Fort McMurray wildfire 2016 $3.7 billion

This fire ranks as the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history with estimated insured losses nearly double that of the recent 2013 floods in Calgary.

Sources:

Footnote 1

2016 Census of Population (3901), Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

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Footnote 2

2011 National Household Survey (5178) special tabulation, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

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Footnote 3

Statistics Canada (Agriculture Division) special tabulation

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Footnote 4

2016 Census of Population (3901) special tabulation: Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

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Footnote 5

Labour Force Survey (3701)

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Footnote 6

The Fort McMurray area refers to the census agglomeration (CA) of Wood Buffalo

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Footnote 7

National Gross Domestic Product by Income and by Expenditure Accounts (1901) special tabulation

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Footnote 8

Gross Domestic Product by Industry – National (Monthly)(GDP)(1301)

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Footnote 9

Canadian International Merchandise Trade (2202)

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Footnote 10

Building Permits Survey (2802) special tabulation, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

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Footnote 11

Insurance Bureau of Canada and The Conference Board of Canada

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