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TBay Has Rebounded From 1st Year of The Pandemic Study Shows

By Katie Nicholls Oct 20, 2022 | 2:18 PM

Mike Cohen / CC

A study was commissioned in 2013 by Thunder Bay Ventures to look at the economy of the region.

Recently, the numbers from 2020-2021 have shown what a hit the city took during the pandemic and the recession that is creeping closer and closer according to two doctors involved in the study.

The Thunder Bay Economic Activity Index (TBEAI) shows that the first year of the pandemic was a tough one for the city as there was a negative GDP of -7.1 per cent. According to Dr. Bahram Dadgostar and Dr. Camillo Lento from Lakehead University’s Faculty of Business; the city has bounced back fairly well. 2021 saw the GDP come in at 4.1 per cent, and is estimated to stay steady at 4.0 per cent for 2022-2023.

However, despite the so far positive outcome, the city lags behind when compared to the province. Many cities and regions across Ontario have already recovered to their pre-pandemic and are expected to stay that way as both doctors are predicting a recession on the horizon.

The city’s employment growth is also lacking. While there are lots of jobs available, it’s a tough market as employers are all looking at the same pool of candidates to hire and there’s not enough to go around.

Housing also became less affordable from 2019 to 2021. While the real estate market saw a huge increase in the sale of homes along with their sticker price, renters saw an increase of four per cent. Even with these increases, their report indicates that housing in Thunder Bay is relatively stable.

Both doctors estimate that if there is a recession, it will be over by the end of 2023.


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