International immigration accounted for over half of Alberta’s population growth last year, but has been severely hampered by the pandemic, says a new report by ATB Financial’s Economics & Research Team.
In its daily economic update, The Owl, the financial institution said the number of permanent residents admitted into Alberta from other countries over the second quarter of 2020 was down by 65 per cent (-8,130 people) compared to the same period last year.
It added that the arrivals slowed to just 680 in April, but climbed to 2,200 in June and the arrivals in June were, however, still 49 per cent lower than they were 12 months earlier.
“At 64 per cent, the number of permanent residents who came to Canada during the second quarter was down by virtually the same amount as it was for Alberta. The national total improved in May and June, but was still 44 per cent below the level in June 2019,” said ATB.
“The increase in the number of arrivals as the economy has reopened is a good sign, but with the virus remaining in play, many travel restrictions still in place, and slower processing times due to the pandemic, it will take time before the levels fully recover.”
It said both Alberta and Canada will almost certainly end the year well below last year’s totals of 43,690 and 341,175, respectively.
“How much of this year’s shortfall will be made up in 2021 is not clear and will depend in part on the path of the virus and the development of a vaccine,” added ATB.
“The end result of the lower inflow of permanent residents from other countries will be slower population growth, reduced housing demand and a smaller labour pool.”