According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, Alberta gained more citizens than any other province in the first quarter of 2011.
“[Immigration is] back to the level of a few years ago,” said Statscan’s Jonathan Chagnon, referencing the stagnant growth experienced by Alberta in recent years due to the economic recession. “Pretty much all provinces seem to be losing to Alberta.”
In the early to mid-2000s, Alberta was one of the top destinations for new immigrants and for other Canadians, as rapid economic growth fuelled massive labour demands. The recent influx of newcomers is one of many promising signs of recovery in the region.
“It seems there are a lot more opportunities for jobs out here than Ontario,” said Jeff Blay, a recent journalism graduate who decided with his partner to relocate to the province St. Catherine, Ontario. “Just in our [new] town, if you walk around, whether it’s gas stations, pizza places, accountant shops or hairdressers, there are help-wanted signs in almost every window.”
Saskatchewan and Alberta seem to be drawing in the most people. Saskatchewan now leads the country in terms of unemployment rate – 5 percent. Alberta also has a low unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, compared to the national average of 7.4 percent.
These healthy job figures are heavily influencing migration across the country. A recent study by the Canadian Employee Relocation Council found that workers are more willing to relocate to the Western region of the country (British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan) than anywhere else in Canada.
Many of the workers are moving to fill positions in the resource sectors, but analysts predict impending labour shortages in other industries as well such as hospitality, retail, computers and healthcare.
Source: Globe and Mail