Mining boom offers potential for ongoing economic growth
OTTAWA, May 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's territories are outperforming most
of their provincial counterparts economically, according to The
Conference Board of Canada's "How Canada Performs: Economy" report card. Released today, and building on previous "How Canada Performs" analyses, the Economy report card is the first of six to be produced
over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic
This year's "How Canada Performs" has two new elements. It is the first to compare the 10 provinces with
16 advanced countries. It is also the first time that the territories
are graded on indicators of economic performance where territorial data
is available: income per capita; gross domestic product (GDP) growth;
employment growth; unemployment rate; inflation; and labour
"The economic outlook remains positive for the territories over the next
few years. Yukon and Nunavut, in particular, have benefited from the
development of mining industries in their territories," said Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. "Mining will be one of the
most important economic drivers in Northern Canada in the years to
"The fact that the territories consistently score high on economic
performance indicators is not surprising," said Anja Jeffrey, Director,
Centre for the North. "Despite a downturn in global commodity markets, natural resource
development activities continue to bolster these economies with growth
rates well above the national average."
Mining, however, is a volatile sector. Mineral demand and prices
fluctuate sharply as a result of changing conditions in the global
economy, which can affect the financing available for mine development.
In this sense, the territories share with many emerging markets and
other resource-dependent regions an economic vulnerability to swings in
commodity prices. As a result, there has been substantial volatility in
the grades earned by the three territories on GDP growth over the past
Yukon's per capita income is higher than that of the international
leader, Norway, and second only to Alberta among the provinces.
Nunavut's per capita income is high by Canadian standards, surpassing
the Canadian average in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
The Northwest Territorities has the highest labour productivity level
in Canada, and is second only to Norway among international peers.
Territorial data on income and employment are influenced by the fact
that jobs are often filled by workers from Southern Canada who do not
take up residency in the territory. Therefore, they are not counted in
territorial employment and income statistics.
Yukon gets three "A+" grades and three "A" grades. Yukon scores an "A+" on
GDP growth, employment growth, and per capita income. Yukon's per
capita income is higher than that of Norway, the top-ranking peer
country, and second only to Alberta within Canada. Like Alberta,
Yukon's economy is also largely resource based. Per capita income in
Yukon has been above that of all provinces except Alberta since the
Nunavut scores two "A+" grades for performing better than the top-ranked
country on both employment growth and labour productivity growth (ahead
of Ireland in both cases). Nunavut's per capita income is below levels
in either the Northwest Territories or Yukon, but is still high by
Canadian standards, surpassing the Canadian average in 2010, 2011, and
However, Nunavut scores low grades for income per capita ("C") and
unemployment ("D"). At 13.5 percent, Nunavut's unemployment rate is
above that of all provinces and territories, and higher than all
international peers except Ireland. The high unemployment rate is
largely due to the fact that many of those employed in the territory
are not residents.
The Northwest Territories scores an "A+" grade on income per capita, which has been well above
that of every Canadian province and territory since the beginning of
the 2000s, when data on N.W.T. as separate from Nunavut became
available. N.W.T. scores its lowest grades on employment growth ("C")
and labour productivity growth ("D-"). Despite the decline in labour
productivity growth, the level of labour productivity in the N.W.T. is
the highest among the provinces and territories, and is second only to
Norway among international peers.
The territories are not included in the overall provincial and
international benchmarking ranking because data are not available for
all eight indicators in the Economy report Card. The Conference Board
is, however, committed to including the territories in the How Canada
Performs report card, so each territory gets grades on the indicators
where data were available.
The Conference Board of Canada produces a biannual Territorial Outlook that provides a long-term economic and fiscal outlook for each of the
How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to
help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's
socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to
peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and
This is the first year that provincial and territorial rankings are
included in the analysis.
The Education and Skills report card will be released in June.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221