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Interprovincial migration returns to Alberta

Interprovincial migration returns to Alberta

Posted on: 12/22/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

It’s fantastic news for the last edition of The Owl for 2017!

In perhaps the most convincing evidence that the recession is over, more people from the rest of the country are once again choosing to move to Alberta than those who are leaving.

According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, 17,775 people from other parts of Canada moved to Alberta in the third quarter (July, August and September) of this year. At the same time, 17,032 Albertans relocated to elsewhere in the country. That left a narrow net gain of approximately 743 in favour of Alberta.

Alberta was on the losing end of inter-provincial migration for the preceding eight quarters. Net out-migration is not surprising during a recession. And indeed, the fact that job seekers move from one part of the country to another during difficult economic times is a sign of a healthy national job market. Still, it’s troubling for Albertans to watch friends, family and neighbours pack up and leave.

The out-migration over the previous two years amounted to a net loss of approximately 30,000. That’s a big number, but it’s a shadow of the more than 130,000 net gain we experienced in the five years leading up to the recession (see graph).

As Alberta’s economy continues to add jobs and gain momentum gradually, we expect in-migration to remain positive or close to balance in 2018.

The Owl is taking a well-deserved break over the holidays and will return on January 8, 2018. Happy and restful holidays to all! ​

Net-interprovincial flows of people to/from Alberta, graph

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