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Economic outlook shines positive light on job growth in Calgary over next 5 years

Last Updated May 14, 2019 at 8:20 pm MDT

Downtown Calgary and the Scotiabank Saddledome from the top of Scotsman's Hill. Wednesday, July 4th, 2018. (Tom Ross - 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The city released the spring economic outlook on Tuesday and there are some hopeful signs for Calgary over the next five years.

“We are entering our third straight year of positive economic growth and our analysis shows that we would have another four or five years of positive economic growth,” said Oyin Shyllon, an economist and regulatory lead for the city.

The report shows there are three major factors pointing to a positive future. It predicts Western Canadian Select will rise from US$38/barrel in 2019 to US$52/barrel by 2024.

The Calgary region is also expected to have 40 per cent or more of investments in Alberta.

Lastly, the report suggests there will be solid job growth in Calgary, with 108,500 jobs created in the next five years — 15,900 of those coming in 2019. This is also expected to lower the unemployment rate to 6 per cent by 2023.

“Calgary continues to be a very attractive place for people looking for jobs. We are ranked the fourth most livable city in the world and have a lot of net migration and with a lot of individuals with skills who can help us.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city is very focused on dropping the unemployment rate.

“I’m hopeful we can work with the new provincial government to really focus hard on attracting investment and job creation so that we can start pulling that number down and turning the curve and getting unemployment lower, faster,” said Nenshi

The Gross Domestic Product growth is predicted to be at 1.9 per cent which would be higher than the provincial average at 1.5 per cent and the national average at 1.7 per cent.

Despite the positive projections some Calgarians are still struggling and might be questioning what the report says.

“So in the 2011,12,13 period we had faster rates of economic growth and as a result people have come to expect that, when Calgary is doing well it must be really robust economic growth, we don’t have things quite that robust,” said Shyllon, “It’s a different pace of growth, it’s not what we have become familiar with and it does take some adjusting to.”

Nenshi thinks people are starting to notice positive results.

“I think that a lot of people are seeing it, I mean I spend a lot of my time talking to small businesses’s and certainly there are glimmers of positivity, people are starting to invest a bit more, people are starting to see more customers, but we really have to continue you that,” said Nenshi.