July 23, 2014 7:46 pm

Alberta’s success creating economic divide in Canada: Bloomberg

The Syncrude oilsands extraction facility behind a lake reclaimed from an old mine near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

MARK RALSTON, AFP/Getty Images

EDMONTON- There’s no question that Alberta has a strong economy, but just how strong is it compared to other Canadian provinces?

According to a  recent Bloomberg article, when it comes to the Canadian economy, “there’s Alberta, and there’s everywhere else.”

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The author states, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, Alberta was responsible for the national net employment growth in the past year, and that the province is surpassing the rest of Canada when it comes to trade surplus, gross domestic product and overall economic growth rate.

“I don’t think Edmontonians and Albertans are as sensitive as they might be to the economic insecurity that people in other areas, particularly in eastern Canada, experience,” said John Rose, the city of Edmonton’s chief economist.

The article highlights that, within the last 12 months, Alberta has gained over 81,000 jobs while the rest of Canada lost around 9,500.

READ MORE: Canada’s economy to grow, Alberta’s to boom 

“[In other provinces] your job is not necessarily guaranteed, your income is not necessarily all that good and it might not go up,” explained Rose.

Rose agrees Alberta’s enormous economic growth can be attributed to its strong energy sector.

Bloomberg points out the output from Alberta’s oilsands is expected to more than double to 4.1 million barrels a day by 2025. According to Statistics Canada, the value of oil exports have doubled from 42.8 billion in 2009 to 81.7 billion in 2013.

Not only is the economy booming, Alberta’s population is growing at a fast pace. Tens of thousands of young workers come to Alberta from other provinces to take advantage of the low unemployment rate and high job security. The energy sector also creates numerous job opportunities with the added bonus of a high wage.

In 2011-2012, about 27,700 people  moved to Alberta from other provinces, more than any other area. And, in July 2013, Alberta’s population topped 4 million – the largest annual increase in Canada.

READ MORE: Alberta’s population tops 4 million

Rose says this population growth acts as inflation control for the province.

“The combination of increased national migration and increased net in provincial migration has allowed our labour force to grow,” he explains.

“That’s helped keep a lid on labour costs which got right out of control in 2005, 2006 and 2007.”

According to Bloomberg’s calculations, if Alberta continues to grow at this rate it will surpass Quebec’s economy within the next three years.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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