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Canadians, provinces have a bright outlook for 2010

By Julie King |

The past year has been difficult for many Canadians, but the majority have a positive personal outlook for 2010 and economic growth is expected in all provinces for the coming year.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of Canadians were optimistic that 2010 would be a good year for job creation, found an Ipsos survey.

This optimism may well be warranted. A Scotia Economics released on December 23, 2009 predicted that the provinces would see growth between 1.9 per cent in PEI to 3.0 per cent in British Columbia in 2010.

Job creation and getting people back to work will be an important part of the economic recovery in 2010, after the strong job losses reported in 2009. Fourteen per cent of respondents in the Ipsos survey reported a personal job loss and another 14 per cent said that someone else in their household had lost their job in 2009. However, 14 per cent also indicated that they had found new employment during the year.

Two out of three Canadians (65 per cent | Ipsos) said the economy either personally affected them somewhat (45 per cent) or a lot (18 per cent) in 2009. Only one third (35 per cent) of Canadians said the economy had not affected them.

Canadians felt the economic impact of the 2009 recession more strongly in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. In these provinces 28 per cent of Albertans and 21 per cent of British Columbians and Ontarians said the recession affected them a lot, compared to 18 per cent in Atlantic Canada, 11 per cent in Quebec and just 7 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

People in provinces that reported a lower impact from the recession in 2009 were more optimistic about their prospects for 2010.

Atlantic Canadians were the most optimistic about the coming year; 81 per cent agreed that it will be a good year for job creation and putting people back to work. Across the country, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the next most optimistic (79 per cent), followed by Quebec (74 per cent), British Columbia (74 per cent), Alberta (73 per cent) and Ontario (69 per cent).

Scotia Economics has predicted growth in all provinces in 2010:
British Columbia3.0 per cent
Alberta2.9 per cent
Saskatchewan2.8 per cent
Manitoba2.6 per cent
Ontario2.7 per cent
Quebec2.2 per cent
New Brunswick2.1 per cent
Nova Scotia2.2 per cent
Prince Edward Island1.9 per cent
Newfoundland & Labrador2.9 per cent

The Ipsos optimism survey found differences in the degree of impact of the recession based on gender, age and income.

Women were more likely than men to say that the recession had affected them a lot (21 per cent for women versus 15 per cent for men). Men (74 per cent) were more optimistic than women (60 per cent) about the outlook for 2010.

Middle aged Canadians were more likely to say the recession affected them in 2009; 23 per cent said the economy had affected them a lot, compared to 15 per cent for both older and younger Canadians. Looking ahead, Canadians 55 and older (70 per cent) are slightly more optimistic about the outlook for 2010 than younger Canadians (65 per cent).

The impact of the recession was also felt more strongly in households with lower incomes.

Twenty six per cent of families with incomes under $30,000 a year said the recession affected them a lot, compared to 18 per cent for families with incomes between $25,000 to $50,000 and 15 per cent for families with incomes over $60,000.

In the coming year, 67 per cent agreed (13 per cent strongly and 54 per cent somewhat) that their `personal economic outlook for 2010 is bright`, while one in three (33 per cent) disagreed (6 per cent strongly and 27 per cent somewhat).

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