Calgary has the lowest CD rate in Alberta, but rates are rising as new jobs flood the region
A new study says Calgary has been hit hard by the Alberta job crisis, with the city’s overall CD rate at nearly the lowest in the province.
The study by University of Calgary economist Brian Clark says Calgary’s overall rate is well below the national average and is on pace to rise even further.
“The impact of the downturn in the economy on Calgary has not been as pronounced as we expected,” said Clark, who is director of the university’s Centre for Macroeconomics.
“The fact that Calgary has one of the lowest rates in the country and one of highest unemployment rates in Canada, combined with the fact that the provincial government has not yet enacted any of its most important policies to address the unemployment crisis, have had a significant impact on the city and its economy.”
The average CD rate for Calgary is 1.5 per cent, according to the report.
It’s not the lowest rate in the nation.
The rate for the rest of Alberta was just 0.3 per cent.
The report said the city is seeing the largest increase in job creation since the recession hit in 2008, and the city continues to be one of Alberta’s fastest growing economies.
In the first half of 2019, Calgary added 7,000 jobs, according the report, and a similar increase has been recorded for the first six months of 2020.
A large number of those jobs are in low-paying, part-time positions, and Clark said many of those are likely to come from new and lower-skilled positions.
Clark said he is hopeful the city will see a rebound in job growth over the next few months.
The city has been on the lookout for new and low-skilled jobs, but has struggled to find many of them.
Clark cited recent economic activity as a reason for the low rate.
“As the job market has improved, we have seen a significant increase in part-timers, with about 30 per cent of those in Calgary now being part- time workers,” he said.
“We’ve seen a lot of construction workers in the last few months coming back into the city.
Clark said there are two reasons why Calgary’s rate is lower than the national rate. “
Our jobs market is really good, but we need to find more jobs.”
Clark said there are two reasons why Calgary’s rate is lower than the national rate.
The first is that the city has not adopted many of the policies that have been recommended by the provincial NDP, including a tax-preferred plan.
Clark pointed out that many parts of Calgary are not tax-exempt.
For example, a portion of the downtown area is not tax exempt and a portion is not, which means that most of the city cannot benefit from the province’s tax-free benefit.
“This is not a situation that Calgary could afford, and this is why it has the lower rate,” he added.
“I’m not sure how much higher it could go.
The second reason is that it is the slowest growing economy in Canada.”
In Calgary, Clark said the population is growing at a slower pace than in other parts of Alberta, which is why the city experienced an increase in the number of vacancies.
In 2017, the city recorded an increase of more than 3,000 vacancies.
Calgary’s population is now at a record 1.56 million.
The University of Alberta study says the city saw its first net new job for four years in 2019, which was partly because of the Alberta oilsands boom.
“There is a lot that needs to be done to increase the pace of job creation in Calgary, and we are optimistic that this will happen in the coming months,” Clark said.
The province also has promised to provide a tax credit of up to $1,000 for new businesses that hire 10 or more full- or part–time employees.
Clark believes the province is moving in the right direction.
“In the first quarter of 2019 Alberta added over 8,000 net new jobs, a level that is among the fastest in the world,” he noted.
“It’s hard to believe that the job numbers are still falling and the unemployment rate is still going up in Alberta.
The provincial government is moving more and more quickly in the direction of jobs creation.”
Clark noted that Calgary’s economy has continued to grow, with net exports increasing by about 30,000 barrels of oil a day over the past three years.
“However, this has not translated into increased wages or improved employment opportunities,” he explained.
“At this point we do not see a significant return to the provincial economy.”