Territorial economies set for growth but will slow long-term

Canada’s territorial economies are set to grow in 2019 according to the Conference Board of Canada.

The combined economies of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon’s real economic growth is forecast to average a solid 5.3% in 2019 and 4.4% in 2020.

But from 2021 to 2025, their combined economies will average only 1.5% per cent a year, in part because of the maturing of the mining industry and fewer new mine developments.

“Territorial economies are being positively impacted by new mines that are propelling growth in the next few years,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, Director, Provincial and Territorial Forecast. “However, some of the countervailing winds are the slower Canadian economy compounded by higher geopolitical risk (i.e. Brexit) and weaker growth in the global economy.”

Among the highlights of the Board’s Territorial Outlook Economic Forecast (Summer 2019) report:

  • Nunavut’s population profile is different from what we see in other parts of the country. Fertility rates are high and labour force growth will be solid, but the unemployment rate will remain sharply higher than in Yukon or the Northwest Territories.
  • Weaker economic growth will encourage more workers to leave the Northwest Territories, leaving a smaller working-age population to cover the costs that come with growth in the number of seniors.
  • The unemployment rate in Yukon will remain well below 4% over the next several years, and labour shortages will become a problem.

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