It appears Vancouver and Toronto aren’t just home to the country’s two red-hot housing markets, they are also home to the hottest employment markets. The two cities have accounted for all the net job growth over the last year, according to BMO Nesbitt Burns.
BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic said in a report that Vancouver and Toronto have created 171,000 net new jobs in the past year while the rest of the country has lost 47,000. In a separate report he also noted that British Columbia stood out from the rest of the country accounting for 110,000 of the 144,000 net jobs created over the past year.
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Canada’s western-most province also leads the way with the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 5.8 per cent compared to the national umemployment rate of 7.1 per cent.
“Toronto and Vancouver combined have created all the jobs in Canada over the past year,” said Benjamin Reitzes, an economist with BMO. “I don’t know if it’s going to continue at that pace, but I would expect continued out performance from B.C. broadly and Ontario broadly.”
He said the high jobs numbers are also tied into the red-hot housing home sales numbers. The Toronto Real Estate Board said last week housing prices jumped more than $100,000 in just one year. The average sale price for homes in the Greater Toronto Area last month was $739,082, which is up from an average of $636,094 in April 2015.
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Alberta’s economy continued to struggle in April, losing roughly 21,000 jobs according to Statistics Canada, more than all the other provinces combined, and it is still unclear how the wildfire that devastated Fort McMurray will affect the economy.
“[Alberta’s unemployment rate] will probably rise a little bit, a couple of percentage points is possible,” said Reitzes. “The worst fears don’t look like they have been realized with respect to the fires and the damage. We will see how long it takes to recover.”
Meanwhile, Atlantic Canada continues to lag behind the rest of the country with high unemployment numbers in Newfoundland and Labrador (12.5 per cent), P.E.I (11.5 per cent). Nova Scotia is a bright spot, with employment up 1.2 per cent year over year and the jobless rate just above eight per cent, according to BMO.