Calgary grows, rest of country slows

Calgary grows, rest of country slows

Calgary grows, rest of country slows

A new report from BMO Economics confirms what has become clear to every Canadian: Calgary continues to emerge as the new economic capital of Canada.

In an interview with Wealth Professional, BMO ecoomist Benjamin Reitzies, explains: “Alberta added 71,200 jobs, there were just 4,300 for the rest of the country. This in a province where Alberta accounts for just over 11 per cent of the country's population,” says Reitzies "Six of 10 provinces saw employment drop below year-ago levels, including all five east of Ontario.”

The BMO economist noted the Alberta-focused growth trend is becoming a defining feature of the Canadian economy. "Growth rates in Alberta are at 3.2 per cent, compared to just 0.1 per cent for the rest of Canada," says Reitzies. "Ontario and Quebec have been hammered by lack of US demand. The former manufacturing regions continue to experience soft growth of just 1 and 1.45 half percent."

​Alberta's energy sector continues to attract workers from across the country. But the rest of the country becomes mired in slowing domestic demand. This is the legacy of a strong dollar and a lack of US demand as well as softening domestic demand. An expected slowing in housing demand will affect Ontario as well. “The regional divide is growing. With a lower dollar, we're hoping that exports pick up," says Reitzes. "That's got to happen."

Alberta bounced back quickly after the Great Recession. “Alberta has been consistently strong. The province grew at 3.3% over the fifteen years,  3.5% over the last twenty. In the developed, that is something. The economy came right back after the recession. It didn't skip a beat,” says Reitzies.  

Alberta now boasts Canada's highest average weekly earnings, at $1,108.01 last year.