Professional & Techinical Services Continued

Professional, scientific and technical services are becoming an increasingly important segment of the Canadian economy. In Alberta, the number of people employed in this sector has increased around 8.5% per annum for a ten year period.

The average annual employment growth rate in the Calgary Region is 9.96 per cent per annum. Significant growth has been noted in the self-employed component of the professional, scientific and technical services sector, which is now the largest non-farm category of self-employment. Growth rates for Business Establishments with Employee. It is expected that much of the growth in management consulting and advertising/design services has been in the self-employed and home-based business segment, with such businesses accounting for more than half of small businesses. Mobile self-employed professionals, coined ‘lone eagles’ by a Denver-based think tank – The Centre for the New West - are self-employed, knowledge-based professionals who operate as self-employed individuals or in a freelance capacity, conducting business remotely from their clients through the use of high-speed broadband telecommunications, computers, express mail and a commercial airport for occasional business travel. These individuals (or couples/partners) typically operate their business out of home offices, deriving their revenues from outside the local area and may operate nationally or even internationally.

The projected level of growth in this sector in Alberta and subsequently in the Calgary Region is comparable to the level projected for the United States by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, with per annum growth projected at 2.5 per cent between 2004-2014.

Overall, at a macro level, sub-sector growth is likely to be highest in computer systems design and related services, management consulting, accounting and related services and design services.

It is expected that there will be a continued high demand for engineering expertise in Alberta as a result of increased economic activity forecasted in the oil and gas sector in Calgary and other parts of Alberta, particularly with further development of the Alberta oil sands. The engineering services segment is expected to continue as a strong and growing segment in this sector.