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Alberta’s population trends Part 1: Fewer non-residents in Alberta

Alberta’s population trends Part 1: Fewer non-residents in Alberta

Posted on: 6/19/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Over the course of the recession a few years ago, Alberta experienced net interprovincial out-migration of workers to other parts of Canada. But it wasn’t only Canadian citizens leaving. Thousands of visitors from other parts of the world have left as well.

Non-permanent residents include a variety of people with reasons for living in Canada, including students on study visas. But a large number of non-permanent residents are also here on work permits and have been brought to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

Back in the late 2000s, when Alberta was facing severe labour shortages, thousands of workers under the TFWP were brought in for jobs that employers had trouble filling. The total number of non-permanent residents soared from about 20,000 in the year 2000 to over 100,000 by 2013.

Over the recession, however, the need to fill jobs was less pressing. Indeed, with the provincial unemployment rate more than doubling between 2013 and 2016, thousands of workers— both Canadian citizens and international visitors— lost their jobs. And without an employer sponsor, those workers in the TFWP are required to return home.

From the peak in 2014 of over 110,000, the number of temporary foreign workers in Alberta have dropped every year. Last year saw only 76,000 workers, the lowest in a decade.

Tomorrow, The Owl will take a peek at how Alberta’s population has been affected by the flow of residents from other provinces.

Non-permanent residents, graph​​​​​​​​

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