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The Conference Board of Canada gives Alberta’s economy good grades…

…except when it comes to productivity

Michael Ganley is the editor of Alberta Venture. BizBeat takes a big-picture view of the provincial, national and international news affecting Alberta's business community. He can be reached at mganley@albertaventure.com and @MikeatVenture

May 15, 2014

by Michael Ganley

Today, the Conference Board of Canada came out with a report comparing the economic performance of the 10 provinces with national statistics from 16 countries. Resource-rich Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador came out on top, each scoring an “A+” overall score.

The report contains a wealth of data to drill into, including per capita incomes, the unemployment rate, GDP, productivity and employment growth, the inflation rate and foreign direct investment.

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Alberta get generally good grades, but falls down in the productivity measurement, which the Conference Board calls “the single most important determinant of a province’s or country’s long-term GDP growth and per capita income, and therefore the only sustainable way to improve standard of living.” Ireland got the only “A” here (with labour productivity growth of 2.91 per cent between 2008 and 2012). Manitoba was the top province, at 1.47 per cent, and Alberta got a “C”, for its rate of .94 per cent.

MORE: Can productivity be taught?

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