OTTAWA, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Nearly half of the 46 mid-sized Canadian
cities covered in The Conference Board of Canada's first Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2013 have not recovered all the jobs lost during the recession, based on
historical economic data between 2005 and 2012.
"The employment picture has been uneven among Canada's mid-sized cities
over the past decade or so. A total of 21 cities have yet to see their
employment levels return to pre-recession levels. This is a troubling
turn of events, given that these mid-sized cities play an important
role as economic engines in their respective regions," said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies.
Continued uncertainty on the world stage, particularly in Europe,
brought about softer economic growth over the past two years.
Six mid-sized cities posted average annual job gains of at least three
per cent per year, which means that employment in these areas grew by
over 20 per cent during the past seven years.
Most mid-sized cities were enjoying great economic success before the
2008-09 global recession. However, 29 of the 46 mid-sized cities posted
negative economic growth on an average annual basis in 2008 and 2009.
The recession was particularly painful for mid-sized cities in Ontario,
where the economies contracted in all 11 mid-sized cities. In contrast
seven of the 10 mid-sized cities in Atlantic Canada bucked this trend
during the recession.
Fortunately for most mid-sized cities, economic growth resumed in 40 of
46 cities in 2010. But the recovery was short lived for many; 13 posted
average annual negative economic growth between 2011 and 2012.
Not all employment news has been negative. Between 2005 and 2012, eight
mid-sized cities posted average job growth greater than or close to
three per cent per year:
Prince Albert, Sask.
Wood Buffalo, Alta.
Chilliwack, B.C., and
The Mid-Sized Cities Outlook is The Conference Board of Canada's first such analysis. The
publication has historical economic and employment data for 46
mid-sized Canadian cities. Economic forecasts are provided for eight
cities that contributed financially to the research - Fredericton,
Sept-Îles, Rimouski, Granby, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Brandon,
Lethbridge and Red Deer.
Economic performance 2005-2012
In Corner Brook, Nfld., the economy grew strongly from 2005 to 2007, but
growth has declined in four of the past five years.
Charlottetown posted positive real GDP growth every year from 2005 to
2012 and created more than 4,000 new jobs since 2005.
Summerside's economy has expanded every year since 2006, but,
surprisingly, the number of jobs in the region has fallen.
Following modest growth from 2005 to 2010, Fredericton's economy
declined in 2011 and 2012.
Bathurst's economy grew for six consecutive years between 2005 and 2010,
but growth tailed off the past two years.
Edmundston's economy is about the same size as it was eight years ago.
Not only has Miramichi's economic output declined every year since 2005,
both its 2012 real GDP and employment levels were less than half of
what they were eight years ago.
Cape Breton's economy has grown every year since 2005, but employment in
2012 was largely the same as it was in the mid-2000s.
Truro avoided significant declines during the recession, but economic
growth was modest between 2005 and 2012.
New Glasgow's economy shrank every year since 2009 and the region has
shed almost 6,000 jobs since 2008.
Thanks largely to a rising population, output and employment in
Sept-Iles grew solidly between 2005 and 2012.
Granby posted strong economic growth in five of the past six years,
which led to the creation of more than 3,000 jobs during that period.
The economy of Rouyn-Noranda/Val-d'Or grew by more than three per cent
annually between 2010 and 2012.
After significant declines in real GDP between 2007 and 2009, Rimouski's
economy posted three consecutive years of strong growth starting in
Thanks to three years of steady economic growth,
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu created a total of almost 4,000 new jobs over
2011 and 2012.
Baie-Comeau's economy grew for eight consecutive years, but employment
shrank by almost 2,000 between 2005 and 2012.
Shawinigan's economy was smaller in 2012 than it was in 2005, and the
region lost more than 5,000 jobs over this time frame.
Real GDP in Drummondville has declined for five consecutive years and
employment has fallen by almost 8,000.
Saint Hyacinthe's economy has been declining for eight years and both
its real GDP and employment levels are nearly half of what they were in
After a difficult period between 2005 and 2009, Leamington has posted
explosive economic growth in the last three years, averaging more than
eight per cent annually.
Since 2005, Brockville has posted strong economic growth and added 4,500
new jobs in the region.
Belleville's economy grew by more than four per cent on average between
2010 and 2012.
Timmins grew by an average 2.7 per cent per year in each of the last
three years and added 5,000 jobs in 2012 alone.
The economies in Kawartha Lakes, Cornwall, Norfolk, Sarnia, North Bay
and Sault Ste. Marie were about the same size in 2012 as they were
Chatham-Kent's economy shrank in six of the eight years between 2005 and
Wood Buffalo (centered on Fort McMurray) has posted explosive economic
growth since 2005 - averaging 6.5 per cent per year - and added almost
17,000 new jobs.
Grande Prairie's economy grew by an average of 3 per cent annually
between 2005 and 2012.
Red Deer rebounded from the 2009 recession with three strong years of
economic growth between 2010 and 2012.
Lethbridge has posted relatively consistent annual economic growth since
2007, although employment levels have varied from year to year.
Medicine Hat's economy declined for five consecutive years between 2008
and 2012, and 14,000 jobs were lost over that period.
Moose Jaw's economy grew by a modest 1.2 per cent per year during the
Prince Albert has enjoyed economic growth of more than four per cent on
an average annual basis since 2007.
Brandon's economy contracted by a total of 1.6 per cent between 2008 and
2012, but has enjoyed strong population growth in recent years, a
positive indicator moving forward.
Prince George's economy has grown by about five per cent annually since
Chilliwack was one of the fastest growing mid-sized economies in the
country between 2005 and 2012, with average annual increases in GDP of
6.2 per cent.
Duncan lost ground for five consecutive years between 2005 and 2009, but
has rebounded with growth averaging 7.5 per cent annually since 2010.
Kamloops has posted solid economic and employment growth since 2005.
After posting particularly strong increases between 2005 and 2007, the
economy of Courtenay, Nanaimo and Dawson Creek expanded at a more
modest pace from 2008 to 2012.
Vernon's economy has contracted for five consecutive years.
The publication is available upon request.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448