BMO: Rider Nation Tops Canada's Cities and Regions for Labour Market Attractiveness

- Regina tops the list, followed by Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon - Ranking looks at income, job prospects, housing affordability, taxes - BMO report shows hiring intentions of small business owners

Marketwired

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov 21, 2013) - The number of Canadians migrating between provinces has hit its highest level in almost a quarter century, with employment prospects the biggest driver, according to a new report released today from BMO Economics. The study ranks the attractiveness of Canada's regional labour markets as a destination, and looks at what's behind the movement of labour.

Regina tops a list of Canadian cities and regions for labour market attractiveness, followed by Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon. The ranking was developed by looking at income, job prospects, housing affordability and tax burden of 19 cities or regions across Canada.

"While there are winners and losers, a mobile labour force isn't necessarily a bad thing to the extent that resources are directed to where they are needed most," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

"In terms of attractiveness as place to move for work, Regina and Calgary top the list, with the highest median levels of employment income, among the lowest jobless rates and relatively low tax burdens," stated Mr. Kavcic. "However, Regina's better housing affordability lifts the city into the top spot."

"Overall, a number of provinces are in a solid economic position and now is a good time for businesses to make long-term investments in their operations to position themselves for growth," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "According to our business outlook, the majority of entrepreneurs who plan to invest in their business in 2014 said they will put money toward upgrading equipment, with 46 per cent indicating they would invest in hiring more employees."

Mr. Kavcic noted that most migrants are headed to Alberta, where net inward migration has surged to more than 50,000 people over the past year, the highest on record and a hefty 1.3 per cent of the population. "Saskatchewan is attracting people as well, and while the inflows are proportionally less significant than in Alberta, it's a stark change after decades of outflows."

The BMO Economics report states that migrants are coming mainly from British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Proportionally, however, the biggest drain is in Atlantic Canada, where combined annual outward migration has reached 11,000 people, or 0.5 per cent of the population.

City Rankings Median
Income
Jobless
Rate
Employment
Growth
Home
Prices
Rent * Income
Tax
Sales Tax
(combined)
($) (% : ytd) (y/y % change ytd) ($ : ytd) ($) (%) (%)
Weight (%) 30 20 10 10 10 10 10
Regina 70,500 3.5 6.0 311,400 861 13.0 10
Calgary 79,300 4.9 2.7 434,000 989 10.0 5
Edmonton 68,200 4.7 3.3 342,100 900 10.0 5
Saskatoon 66,700 4.3 6.9 331,000 831 13.0 10
Hamilton 69,900 6.4 -1.2 381,000 747 9.2 13
Winnipeg 60,100 5.9 0.8 264,900 717 12.8 13
Quebec City 61,900 4.7 -0.3 270,800 628 19.8 15
Ottawa 82,300 6.4 -1.3 356,000 932 13.4 13
Toronto 68,700 8.1 4.3 517,600 1,027 9.2 13
Kitchener 56,300 7.3 0.3 324,200 786 9.2 13
Vancouver 60,400 6.7 -0.2 757,200 998 7.7 12
Windsor 46,800 9.2 0.6 264,900 658 9.2 13
Victoria 46,600 5.4 -0.4 480,000 834 7.7 12
Montreal 53,900 8.1 3.3 323,000 645 19.8 15
Newfoundland 51,900 11.4 1.7 284,900 723 12.5 13
New Brunswick 50,400 10.6 -0.5 160,700 591 14.8 13
London 46,500 8.9 -0.8 244,900 760 9.2 13
Nova Scotia 51,100 9.1 -0.3 210,500 786 15.0 15
PEI 44,600 11.3 2.5 156,100 640 13.8 14
Average 59,800 7.2 1.4 337,600 792 12.1 12.1

* Rent figures based on the average cost of a one bedroom apartment

The full report from BMO Economics is available upon request.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Contact:
Media
Peter Scott, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
PeterE.Scott@bmo.com
Ronald Monet, Montreal
(514) 877-1873
ronald.monet@bmo.com
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com
Web: www.bmo.com
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