Alberta’s unemployment numbers are less rosy


“Although Canada’s unemployment rate dropped to a four-decade low last month, Calgary’s jobless rate remains stubbornly high at 7.9 per cent, according to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada.”

“In the wacky world of Canada’s monthly employment numbers, July came up with another head scratcher, with some big headlines, but some disappointments in the fine print,”  Avery Shenfeld wrote Friday in a research note to clients. As reported by the Canadian associated press, August 10, 2018.

It’s well known that claims of the positive impact the games can have on a host cities employment are dubious. Data from Utah in 2002 supports this

For example, as noted previously, the Utah state government predicted the 2002 Winter Olympics would generate 35,000 job-years, concentrated primarily in the year of the event itself. Baumann, Engelhardt, and Matheson (2012) examine monthly employment overall as well as in a variety of specific industries such as retail trade and leisure between 1990 and 2009 in Utah using employment in several adjacent states to control for regional employment trends around the time of the Olympics. They find no identifiable increase in employment either before or after the Olympics, and while they find a statistically significant bump in employment during the actual Games, the increase was 4,000 to 7,000 jobs, or roughly one-quarter to one-tenth the number claimed by Utah officials. Considering that the federal government spent $342 million directly on the 2002 Olympics and at least another $1.1 billion on infrastructure improvements leading up the Games, this amounts to about $300,000 in federal government spending per job created.


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[mlajournal author=”Robert A. Baade, Victor A. Matheson” title=”Going for the Gold: The Economics of the Olympics” journal=”JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES” volume=”30″ issue=”2″ year=”2016″ pages=”201-18″ medium=”” addt=””]