Major City Insights: Saint John—July 2021

The Conference Board of Canada, July 13, 2021
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Climbing vaccination rates mean cities across Canada are poised to bounce back from COVID-19-induced recessions this year. Hot housing markets and pent-up demand for in-person shopping, eating in restaurants, and travel will all help fuel the economic recovery.

This edition of Major City Insights provides our new forecast for growth in Saint John as of June 3, 2021.

Document Highlights

  • The worst is behind Saint John’s in terms of the pandemic. Though real GDP dropped an estimated 5.5 per cent in 2020—the biggest decline for the city on record—it will bounce back by 5.0 per cent this year and 2.7 per cent next year.
  • Despite the relatively low number of COVID-19 cases in Saint John last year, the hit to the city’s labour market was still significant.
  • As vaccination efforts continue, employment growth will strengthen over the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
  • Employment in the construction sector has already recovered thanks to a surge in housing activity.
  • Jobs remain well below their pre-pandemic levels in tourism-related sectors that are still struggling, particularly the arts and entertainment sector and accommodation and food services. We do not except these sectors to recover until well into next year, when borders are fully reopened and travel returns to more normal levels.

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