Comparing Median Employment Incomes in Atlantic Canada and New England Metropolitan Areas

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  • A recent Fraser Institute study compared the economies of the Atlantic Canadian provinces to those of nearby of New England states. It found that the Atlantic provinces generally lag New England states on key measures of income including gross domestic product per person and median employment income.
  • This bulletin further analyzes these indicators by examining median employment income in 20 large metropolitan areas in Atlantic Canada (CMAs) and the New England states (MSAs).
  • We find that for this important indicator of the strength of the labour market and each region’s overall economic health, Atlantic Canada’s five metro areas are clustered near the bottom of the rankings. Atlantic Canadian CMAs hold five out of the six bottom places.
  • This study also measures growth in median employment income during the 2010s. Just one Atlantic CMA (St. John’s) was in the top half of the rankings for growth; it ranked 9th out of 20 metro areas. Maritime Canada’s four CMAs (Halifax, Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton) occupied four out of the seven bottom positions for growth.
  • Taken together, these analyses show that Atlantic Canada’s CMAs in 2019 generally had substantially lower median levels of employment income than MSAs in nearby New England States. Further, it shows that in most cases the prosperity gap between New England MSAs and Canadian CMAs grew over the course of the 2010s.

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