Regina rated most productive city

13 Nov 2014
The StarPhoenix
BRUCE JOHNSTONE bjohnstone@leaderpost.com
LEADER-POST
Regina rated most productive city
REGINA — Regina may not be the biggest city in Canada in terms of economic output (Toronto holds that distinction, accounting for 19 per cent of the country’s GDP). In fact, the Queen City ranked only 14th out of 33 cities surveyed by Statistics Canada. But apparently, the Queen City is the most productive city in Canada.
Regina ranked first in terms of nominal gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at $65,404 in 2009 — the latest year for which data is available. That’s up sharply from fourth place in 2005 and sixth place in 2001 and ahead of heavy hitters like second-place Calgary at $61,246, sixth-place Saskatoon at $49,213 and seventhplace Toronto at $46,763.
So what exactly is GDP per capita?
“GDP per capita is a measure of the value of output per person living in a metropolitan area,” said the study released this week by Statistics Canada’s economic analysis division. “While it is tempting to think of it as a measure of labour productivity (GDP per hour worked), this is only part of the picture,” the study added.
“GDP per capita in a metropolitan area will be higher when labour productivity is higher; each worker, on average, works more hours; more workers are employed; or the working-age population is larger. GDP per capita reflects not only labour productivity, but also, labour market conditions and demographics.”
In other words, productivity — how much economic output each person produces — is a major factor in determining GDP per capita, but it isn’t the only factor. Underlying economic and labour market conditions — whether the economy is booming, or the job market is tight — will also affect GDP per capita.
The study also tells us something about the changes in our economy from 2001 to 2009, particularly the shift away from manufacturing-centric Ontario and Quebec and toward resource-rich provinces, like Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The study notes four cities in the top 10 in terms of GDP per capita in 2001 — Kitchener-Waterloo, Halifax, Windsor and Oshawa — were no longer in the top 10 by 2009, having been replaced by St. John’s, N.L., Saskatoon, Victoria and Vancouver.
“This pattern is consistent with a broad-based shift from manufacturing towards resource-based production … For example, Saskatoon rose 14 places, from 20th to 6th, in terms of GDP per capita, and St. John’s rose 10 places, from 15th to 5th.”
Danny Leung, a spokesperson for Statistics Canada, said Regina’s leading GDP per capita ranking is also partly to the increased value of products being produced in the city, namely oil and gas, manufactured goods and agricultural commodities.

About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on November 13, 2014, in economic impact, miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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