Major City Insights: Thunder Bay—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 Thunder Bay as of June 3, 2021.

Document Highlights

  • COVID-19’s economic fallout exacerbated Thunder Bay’s ongoing economic struggles, resulting in real GDP falling by 7.0 per cent last year.
  • The economy should expand by 6.1 per cent this year, supported by a rebound in retail sales, a hot housing market, and strong lumber prices.
  • The pandemic worsened Thunder Bay’s already-weak job market. Although local employment hit a 16-year high in 2018, a 2.4 per cent pre-pandemic employment loss in 2019 left the city with fewer jobs than in 1988.
  • Employment will grow by 5.5 per cent in 2021, ending the year up 3,200 jobs but still below the 2018 peak.

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