Most of the mid-sized Canadian cities covered in the Mid-Sized Cities Outlook were enjoying a great economic run before the recession struck in 2008. But 29 of the 46 mid-sized cities posted negative economic growth on an average annual basis in 2008 and 2009. The recession was particularly painful for mid-sized cities in Ontario, where the economy contracted in all 11 mid-sized cities. In contrast, 7 of the 10 mid-sized cities in Atlantic Canada avoided recession.
Economic growth resumed in 40 of the 46 mid-sized cities in 2010. But continued global economic uncertainty resulted in softer economic growth over the following two years, including further economic contraction in 13 mid-sized cities. This still left a very decent 33 cities with positive growth in 2011 and 2012, but it remains a testament of the weaker growth recorded of late.
On the employment front, nearly half of Canada’s mid-sized cities have yet to recover all the jobs lost during the global recession. This is a troubling turn of events, given that these mid-sized cities play an important role as economic engines in their respective areas.