Problems with Canada's Economy

March 13, 2014
Problems with Canada's Economy
According to news reports, economists and long-term observers of the Canadian economy are pointing out that Alberta, one of the western provinces in Canada is the best at creating new jobs. Thus, according to the latest employment data, for the month of February, this province was able to create 18,000 new jobs and these were mainly in the sectors of construction, mining, oil and gas, etc. This was so, even as overall employment fell in the rest of the country. Some economic experts warn against reading too much into one single month’s results, but, still it does seem, that the data available points towards an upswing in the employment figures and that even though the data is just for one month, February, it is still some indicator of what is or has happened to the economy of Canada as a whole.

According to this data, Alberta as a province was responsible for almost all of the new net jobs created in the last year, i.e. 82,300 out of the 94,700 throughout the country, which stood at an impressive 87%. In effect, the province saw employment rise at a very healthy 3.8%. While this was the case with Alberta, the remaining provinces created only 18,000 jobs, anew, during the same period. Agreeing with this assessment were many experts and economists including the Bank of Montreal's chief economist, Doug Porter. And, according to this statistics, the only other provinces which managed a positive growth were Ontario and Saskatchewan. But, in these two provinces, the percentage growth was much lower at 0.4% (in Ontario) and 0.9% (in Saskatchewan).

One other aspect to this growth and fall in the economies of the different provinces is that apart from the rise (or, fall, as the case maybe) in jobs is that migration of workers is also happening as a follow up. Thus, Alberta increased its number of workers by 81,300 in the last one year alone, while some of the other provinces lost their workers to a few other provinces. Also, central Canada with dominant industries in it such as manufacturing and home construction, has witnessed no net job creation and this has had a bad effect on its economy.

But, all in all, even though economists agree that there are problems with Canada’s economy and also with that of some of its provinces, the solutions they recommend vary. And, there is no singular or agreed solution that they prefer or recommend.   

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