A Canadian economic think-tank says Alberta's oil-heavy economy will likely dip into recession as oil prices continue to plunge.

The Conference Board of Canada said Tuesday that the western Canadian province's latest employment and new housing start numbers are holding steady, but that Alberta will slip into recession if oil prices stay low.

The price of a barrel of oil in recent months has plummeted from $105 as recently as June to under $50 on Tuesday — its lowest price in six years. Alberta has the world's third-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Its oil sands are the single largest source of U.S. oil imports.