Inter-provincial in-migration to Alberta continued at a positive rate in the third quarter of 2011, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than what was seen during the first half of the year. In July, August and September, it is estimated by Statistics Canada that 23,974 Canadians from other provinces moved to Alberta. At the same time, 20,838 Albertans packed up and moved to other provinces.
On a net basis, then, Alberta gained 3,136 people from other parts of the country.
During the boom years of 2006-07, Alberta was the clear winner in terms of inter-provincial in-migration. In the third quarter of 2006, it reached a crescendo with nearly 17,000 people (on a net basis) moving into the province. During the recession of 2008-09, inter-provincial migration dropped off significantly. Indeed, more people left Alberta than moved to the province over the second half of 2009. It was a reflection of a darkening job situation in Alberta.
With the up-tick in activity and the jobs market in 2010 and 2011, inter-provincial in-migration has once again turned positive for Alberta. The rate of in-migration this year has been at a good rate – enough to provide workers for the many employers already looking for skilled workers, but not at the break-neck speed that puts excessive strains on then housing and rental accommodation market.
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Coming hot on the heels of the worst global economic downturn in our generation, 2011 was supposed to be a year of relative calm and stability for the world.
It turns out that it didn’t go very much to script! Debt ceiling crisis in the United States, financial turmoil in Europe, and even worries in Asia’s emerging economies punctuated the economic headlines around the world in 2011. Hardly a year of relative calm.
When we think of Alberta’s natural resources, most of us tend to default to oil, oilsands, or maybe natural gas. Some may think of our timber resources, or maybe agriculture. But rare metals? If a Canadian company is successful with some new discoveries its making, Alberta could be set to unleash a whole new kind of natural resource in the coming years—and with it, perhaps, a more diversified economic base.
The economic news this week was, on the surface, unusually positive. Stock markets soared—especially on Tuesday—and are posed to end the week with the strongest percentage gain in months. The Canadian dollar is edging closer to par, and oil has topped $US 100 per barrel. Employment data released this week points towards the US adding jobs, and the American unemployment rate fell to 8.6%, the lowest it’s been in years.
But along comes Dr. Realism, pointing out that sometimes good news is only bad news in disguise. Here are three reasons why this week’s upbeat economic news is actually not much reason for celebration after all.