Alberta a magnet again for interprovincial migration

Alberta has regained its status as a magnet for Canadians moving from other parts of the country, albeit at lower levels than in previous years

A sign of a good economy is when people want to move from other parts of the country to get in on the action.

For years when Alberta was firing on all cylinders it was a magnet for people living in other provinces who wanted to follow the yellow brick road to success that Alberta’s oil and gas industry was fuelling. But with the collapse of oil prices in the latter half of 2014 the province’s economy went into a tailspin with recession years in 2015 and 2016 and still not back to full recovery mode.

That led to thousands of job losses and a climate that today remains uncertain. It has been an environment over the last few years that has not been attractive for people in other parts of Canada wanting to move here.

But some good news out Monday by ATB Financial’s Economics & Research Team.

“Alberta has regained its status as a magnet for Canadians moving from other parts of the country, albeit at lower levels than in previous years. Between July 2018 and September 2019, 7,827 more people moved to Alberta from other parts of Canada than left,” said the financial institution in its daily economic update The Owl.

“Alberta gained 2,285 residents from other parts of Canada during the third quarter of 2019—the highest net increase since the second quarter of 2015. The increase in population from interprovincial migration over the first three quarters of 2019 was 6.5 times higher than it was over the same period in 2018.  This stands in contrast to the 12 consecutive quarters of net outflow between 2015 and 2018 when we lost 33,914 residents to other provinces and territories.”

The report said the numbers are a good sign and welcome news to many parts of Alberta’s economy from homebuilders to retailers but it’s important to keep in mind that the most recent numbers still pale in comparison to the past.

“From 2011 to 2014, the quarterly jump in Alberta’s population from interprovincial migration was 7,388 people. The average quarterly increase since we returned to positive territory is a more modest 1,565,” said ATB.

“We will have to wait to see how the interprovincial migration numbers stack up in 2020, but stronger economic growth going forward should help them get closer to their historical levels as more Canadians are drawn here to find work.”

© Calgary’s Business


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