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The Victoria Economy Thread


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#101 Roger

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:34 PM

I mentioned in an earlier post that many "civic leaders" and promoters have stated that Victoria is insulated from the global economic downturn. Here is a story in yesterday's TC.

Greater Victoria's jobless rate hits 6.4%

...eight out of 10 provinces actually posted job gains in May, Statistics Canada reported.

But in B.C. the unemployment rate in May rose to 7.6 per cent from 7.4 in April.

Greater Victoria's unemployment rate kept on climbing last month, reaching 6.4 per cent -- more than double the rate a year ago.

In May, 1,500 fewer people were working in the capital region than in April, said Vincent Ferrao, a Statistics Canada analyst.

Over the past year, one of the biggest employment drops has been in accommodation and food services, where 6,700 fewer people were working this May versus May 2008.

In Greater Victoria's professional, scientific and technical services sector, there are 3,200 fewer people working compared with May of last year, Ferrao said. Public administration, a keystone of the Greater Victoria economy, is down about 3,000.


#102 Caramia

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 02:23 PM

I don't think that's really a shock to anyone who lives in this City.

We went from there being no jobs, to having a labour shortage where people were offering recruiting bonuses, now we are back to laying people off.

According to Stats Can

In 2000, Victoria had an unemployment rate of 6.7%, and was in 22nd place among the 38 CMAs and provincial non-CMA areas. By 2006, its rate had dropped to 3.7% and it had risen to third place.

If we are at 6.4% now, we are almost back to 2000 levels of unemployment. And according to the Daily, a large portion of the nation wide job gains are people over 55 working and and the increase in self-employment.

The most recent article, from April, is quite interesting in explaining what we are seeing in the stats: http://www.statcan.g...090508a-eng.htm
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#103 Roger

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 03:47 PM

The most recent article, from April, is quite interesting in explaining what we are seeing in the stats: http://www.statcan.g...090508a-eng.htm


There is an update to your StatsCan link that contains May unemployment data.

Labour Force Survey - May 2009 (released Friday June 5)

Here is a graph of Victoria unemployment over the last year (source: Times Colonist - June 6, 2009)



#104 aastra

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:30 AM

Financial Times shines spotlight on Victoria


FDi Magazine ranked Victoria as the No. 1 micro city in Canada in terms of economic infrastructure. Victoria was ranked third in North America, against cities with populations of 100,000 or less.


"Greater Victoria has an amazing story to tell, and international recognition like this shows why we are a natural place to do business," said Sasha Angus, Economic Development Officer with the Greater Victoria Development Agency.


http://www.bclocalne...s/50246982.html

So should Victoria be proud or embarrassed by this ranking? After all, Victoria is actually a city of close to 400,000 (as the comment by Sasha Angus indicates).

#105 G-Man

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:31 AM

I am not sure whether to put this here or in the amalgamation section.

I am hopping mad right now AGHHH!!!!

While it is good news that Victoria made any of these lists, FDi Magazine a subsidiary of the Financial Times of the UK has listed Victoria as the third best micro-city in terms of economics in NA for the future.

http://fdimagazine.c...28_FDI_0409.pdf

So being a micro city puts us in the company of Sarnia, Kamloops, Ogden Utah, Nanaimo, and Clovis California.

In the Small City (therefore bigger than Victoria) category is St. Catherines, Windsor, Kitchener, Halifax. With the exception of Kitchener I would put the rest in the same size category as Victoria.

So this leads me to wonder HOW COMPLETELY MESSED UP are the stats for Victoria? Are they taking regional data and appying it all to the City of Victoria or are they looking solely at the 80 000 people that live in Victoria, because to me that would be like looking at Vancouver put only considering the downtown peninsula. Our economy is regional so the examination by an outside body should be regional.

The only reason that this was done this way is because we have not amalgamated, a bunch of fake lines on a map is actually impacting how the rest of the world sees us.

INSANITY!!!!!

FYI the microcity criteria is less than 100k.

EDIT geez a minute faster than me Aastra :(

#106 aastra

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:35 AM

Check out the micro cities list. Apples and oranges. Victoria isn't the only place that has issues re: city/metro area.

1 Greenville, South Carolina (city pop. 56,000, metro pop. 600,000)
2 Wilmington, Delaware (city pop. 72,000, metro pop. Philadelphia)
3 Victoria, British Columbia (city pop. 80,000, metro pop. 360,000)
4 Surprise, Arizona (pop. 90,000)
5 Ogden, Utah (pop. 81,000)
6 Idaho Falls, Idaho (city pop. 57,000, metro pop. 122,000)
7 Pocatello, Idaho (city pop. 53,000, metro pop. 83,000)
8 Fargo, North Dakota (city pop. 100,000, metro pop. 195,000)
9 Danville, Virginia (pop. 48,000)
10 Santa Fe Springs, California (pop. 17,000, metro pop. Los Angeles)

http://fdimagazine.c...28_FDI_0409.pdf

#107 G-Man

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:51 AM

I am now leaning towards sloppy work on the part of the magazine. I mean you can pull up census data fairly easily and a researcher should be able to figure out what a CMA is hell the listing is on Wikipedia.

So I am guessing that Victoria did not do that well considering that as a city of 360k+ we only came in 3rd in North America.

http://en.wikipedia....areas_in_Canada

#108 aastra

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:57 AM

I suppose Victoria can take some pride in the fact that its city population density is far and away the highest of the top micro cities.

But it's still apples and oranges.

#109 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:27 AM

I think this is one of the more bullsh*t "surveys"/ rankings I've ever seen.

Seriously. What a bunch of crap.

And of course the Greater Vic. biz development folks are trumpeting it, when it should be (a) ignored because it's totally idiotic/ sloppy; and (b) embarrassing (for placing Victoria in the micro-city sector in the first place).

Edit: and © it's totally meaningless.
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#110 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:00 PM

I can't say the following quotes from Dean Fortin inspire me with confidence in his ability to lead this city. And I'm horrified by the tax increases, more than half of which go toward covering "salary and benefit costs for city and police employees," but which won't bring with them any increases in services and which don't begin to "reflect any increase in the police budget, or meet council's objective of reducing the tax burden on businesses."

Note that this projected increase is just the beginning ...no, er, actually: continuation, since we already had a nearly 5% increase this year. Now another 5% increase, with more increases to follow.

But Fortin & Co. need to go ahead with infrastructure projects like the Johnson Street Bridge, too.

Five per cent tax hike predicted

By Bill Cleverley, Times ColonistJuly 19, 2009



Victoria homeowners still smarting from this year's tax bill are facing a property-tax increase of more than five per cent next year.

And that's with a bare-bones budget.

"It's unfortunate that we're going to have to do a tax increase and not be able to increase services," said Mayor Dean Fortin. "It's just hold the line. It's just because of inflation and wage increases that we have that increase."

Victoria's preliminary budget will be drafted with a 5.46 per cent property-tax increase, even though city departments have been directed to prepare core operating budgets with:

- no increase in full-time employees

- no new services or service increases

- a two per cent cap on non-salary inflationary increases

Committee members were told this week that a property-tax lift of 2.9 per cent is needed just to cover increases in salary and benefit costs for city and police employees.

Further tax increases of more than four per cent are projected in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Corporate services committee chairman Coun. Geoff Young worries the projections aren't sustainable. "For me, the important thing is that [the increases] are 21/2 per cent above the expected inflation [rate] and that to me indicates a fairly rapid increase in taxes and I don't believe that can continue indefinitely."

The projections are of particular concern because they don't reflect any increase in the police budget, or meet council's objective of reducing the tax burden on businesses, said Young, adding council is assuming responsibilities in too many areas.

"We want to be leaders in providing social services and leaders in providing housing, even though both of those areas are traditionally the responsibility of higher levels of government, and we also want to show leadership in areas like heritage preservation and green buildings, and all of those things come with price tags," Young said. "We have to remember, I think, our priorities, which are: water, garbage, police, fire parks and doing those things well."

Committee member John Luton said he, too, is concerned about the potential tax increase, but says the city has no choice but to pick up pieces other levels of government are letting slide. "I'm concerned about it, but I'm also mindful of the problems that municipalities continue to face because other governments in their rush to cut taxes are also cutting services. Somebody at the end of the food chain, like municipalities, [is] being forced to pick up the slack."

Victoria taxpayers saw a tax increase of 4.8 per cent this year.

bcleverley@tc.canwest.com

Luton can try to blame some of this on higher levels of government off-loading services to municipalities, but that still doesn't justify off-loading it to us, Joe and Jane Prop.Taxpayer.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#111 spanky123

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:32 AM

http://www.timescolo...5264/story.html

Several of us have been saying this for years and the only thing "shocking" is that politicians and business "leaders" have ignored the warnings.

It all boils down to what type of city we want to have. The impact of trading apartments and affordable housing for luxury condos should haven't been rocket science. Unfortunately, stuffing cash in pockets in the short term meant more to some people than establishing a viable community.

The aging of the population is a contributing factor but driving out young professionals is far more significant.

#112 aastra

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:21 AM

Several of us have been saying this for years...


I think people started saying it in earnest sometime in the late 1920s. And other people warned that it had reached a crisis point in the 1960s.

Not to make light, but for an unsustainable situation it sure has sustained itself. I guess we'll see where it goes.

The impact of trading apartments and affordable housing for luxury condos should haven't been rocket science.


I'd be interested in learning more about this. Where has affordable housing been traded for luxury condos?

#113 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:22 AM

It was interesting to see (once again) the tourism industry referred to (in this article) as "the lifeblood" of Victoria's economy ...and then in the next breath, a discussion of low-wage entry-level jobs (and that young people - who won't be around - won't be filling them, and therefore the surfeit of seniors won't be getting service, whether facilities or restaurants or wherever).

Basically, all this talk around tourism being #1 (which VIATeC disputes, according to their own stats - they say that high tech is #1, but it is nearly all small companies, with not necessarily high wages) - what all the tourism-is-number-one talk disguises is that aside from government (and health sector admin jobs), we don't have a high wage paying economy here.

That's a huge problem. The kids will leave (d'oh, wouldn't you?) and the retirees who come here with what initially looks like a lot of money eventually discover just how expensive it really is to live here - so they cut back and back and back, and that's how Victoria stays small: through a 1000 cuts at the personal level.
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#114 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:24 AM

aastra, we were cross-posting - just saw your comment. I'm also interested in why building development should be seen as a bad thing. At least some great new buildings got off the ground, and they sure improved the city as opposed to crappy surface parking lots.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#115 victorian fan

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 07:00 PM

Retirees will soon outnumber people joining a shrinking Victoria area workforce

Greater Victoria's economy could have trouble sustaining itself in coming years as the number of people leaving the workforce dramatically outpaces the number of workers coming in.



http://www.timescolo...5264/story.html

#116 G-Man

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:04 PM

And then in sharp contrast there is this article:

http://www.cbc.ca/ca...s-rankings.html

I also note that in this ranking we are a city over 100k ;)

#117 G-Man

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:06 PM

Here is the PDF

http://nextgeneratio...2010_canada.pdf

#118 spanky123

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:02 PM

How much credibility are you going to put into a report that doesn't survey a single person in order to reach its conclusions?

They sell consulting services to cities. Nuff said.

#119 G-Man

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:21 PM

At least they can tell how many people live here as compared to that last survey that was about Victoria.

#120 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:45 PM

Spanky, how do you know they failed to talk to anyone? Did you go to Wisconsin to check them out? I looked through their site and they seem to have a network of panelists/ participants. It's not unlikely that people from Victoria were/ are in that group.

By the way, the Victoria Foundation's "Vital Signs" report doesn't specifically cite individuals when it produces its rankings - they're all based on surveys they do, with answers generally from anonymous respondents. Are you so familiar with Next Generation Consulting as to have insight into their methodology?
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