Is Edmonton avoiding the impact of the oil downturn?
Data released on Friday suggests that Edmonton is avoiding the worst impact of the oil downturn in Alberta. Figures from Statistics Canada showed better-than-expected employment levels while CMHC’s housing start stats were also far from disastrous. Although unemployment did rise; from 4.8 per cent in February to 5.3 per cent in March; it is still well-below the 6.8 per cent national average and Alberta’s 5.5 per cent. Meanwhile housing starts increased to 1,727 in March, almost 1000 higher than a year earlier. City of Edmonton chief economist John Rose told the Edmonton Journal that the region is not as closely linked with the oil industry as the rest of the province adding that: “We’ve got a lot of suppressed demand on the housing side that’s continuing to support our construction sector.”