Halifax ended the year with an economic bang. First the labour force survey tells that we have done better than most other Canadian cities of any size in job creation. Indeed this has been going on since the summer of 09 when Halifax posted net job gains of 9300 over the previous 12 month period.
We’re number 1…. in employment creation
Then CIBC tells us that Halifax, helped along by big employment gains, is the top city in the country according to its metro monitor index. In arriving at this CIBC looked at 9 economic variables ranging from population growth to non-residential building permits and all looked pretty good. Population grew at a pace double the rate of the third quarter of 2007. Employment grew by 3.1% in the third quarter, easily tops in the country. The unemployment rate jumped, but in an environment of nation-leading job creation and fast population growth. Business bankruptcies are in steady decline. Other economic indicators were flat or negative, but compared to other cities we were still doing well.
We’re number one…. In economic performance
And today, CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) released its December Business Barometer survey of small business across Canada. Turns out Nova Scotia business are more confident than those in any other province in Canada except BC, who, by the way happen to be in pre-Olympic euphoria. Indeed, the index shows that business confidence in Nova Scotia has been climbing steadily every month for the last year and is now at its highest point in more than 4 years.
We’re number two…and still trying harder.
Halifax seems to be on a roll. But even in these times nay-sayers are easy to unearth. Fact is though, we are coming out of recession with surging employment and growing business confidence. No other City in Canada can claim this. Few cities have our potential moving forward. Few cities would pick this time to take a step back.
2010 will be a telling year for Halifax and our economy.
Fred Morley is the Executive Vice President and Chief Economist at the Greater Halifax Partnership