Montreal and Toronto have long been considered the Canadian capital of the world, but that distinction is increasingly being challenged by cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton, which boast an abundance of great-town neighbourhoods, according to a new report.
READ MORE: Edmonton’s new $15 minimum wage, a new tax on big retailers, more in a new article Calgary is Canada’s second-biggest city, with a population of nearly 12 million, but it’s also a place with a number of challenges, such as rising housing prices, high unemployment and a population that has grown by more than 20 per cent in the past decade.
And while Calgary’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the country at 2.5 per cent, the city has one of the highest murder rates in the province, with almost 4,000 homicides recorded in 2016.
Calgary is home to more than 1,000 high schools and an annual university graduation rate of just over 70 per cent.
“A lot of young people are coming to the city for the first time and they’re looking for opportunities that aren’t available to them in their own community,” said Matt Hickey, director of research and analytics for the Greater Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
“That’s really a key factor in attracting younger professionals to the City of Calgary.”
While most cities with large populations, such the U.S. and the U., have embraced policies to increase economic development, Calgary’s strategy for encouraging economic growth has focused on attracting the brightest and brightest.
“We have a large number of young, talented, educated, and driven people, so it’s not about attracting more of them, it’s about attracting the people who want to come here and work here,” said Hickey.
Hickey said there is evidence that more people who are attracted to Calgary are those who are the most likely to pursue their education and become more educated.
But while Calgary has some of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada, it also has the highest percentage of residents aged between 25 and 64 with a university degree, according the Calgary Chamber.
“It’s really hard to find people who can make a living working here,” Hickey explained.
“You have people that are just so driven, they’re just so determined, and they just want to work and do something that’s meaningful and positive.”
Hickey added that while there has been an increase in job openings in the city, “people are still working in low-paying jobs.
We’re seeing some companies opening up new locations here in Calgary, but they’re not all the same.”
Calgary’s new minimum wage The provincial government announced in September that the minimum wage for Alberta’s private-sector workers would rise to $15 an hour by 2021, up from $10.40.
The announcement came as Calgary’s economy continues to slow, with many businesses struggling to fill the gap caused by the province’s aging population and job losses.
Alberta has been on a hiring spree since 2014, with the city now boasting nearly 1,200 jobs in the private sector.
In 2016, the province added nearly 300,000 jobs, but this year the unemployment rate has jumped to 2.7 per cent and the city’s unemployment benefit is expected to fall to about $30,000.
“There are people in Calgary who have decided to move to Alberta and who are going to continue to do that because they are still struggling,” said Mark Ladd, president of the Alberta Association of Business, noting that Calgary has been hit hard by the global economic downturn.
But Hickey argues that the Alberta government should focus on attracting more people to the province by offering a range of employment opportunities that reflect the city. “
They are looking at the positive and the positives of the opportunities that are out there.”
But Hickey argues that the Alberta government should focus on attracting more people to the province by offering a range of employment opportunities that reflect the city.
“When you look at the growth in employment, we’ve seen the biggest increase in employment among young people, particularly young men.
So the growth of young women in the workforce has been really strong, as well,” said Ladd.
Ladd said the province should also work to encourage businesses to expand their operations in Calgary. “
And so I think we have a big opportunity in the Alberta economy right now, and we need to take advantage of it.”
Ladd said the province should also work to encourage businesses to expand their operations in Calgary.
“Calgary is not a very big city, but we’ve got more people working here, and more people are starting companies, and there’s a lot of opportunities out there,” he said.
“So if we can help attract those workers and companies, we can really take advantage.”
Hilda Gildon is a business reporter at the Calgary Herald.