BUSINESS

Facts on the economic bust in Wabush, N.L., after collapse of iron ore prices

02/04/2015 12:48 EST | Updated 04/06/2015 05:59 EDT
WABUSH, N.L. - A look at Wabush, N.L., a one-industry town where the price of iron ore has led to an economic bust in the small town:

FULL EMPLOYMENT:

Five-hundred workers were employed at the Wabush mine, but since iron ore prices plummeted the mine has shut down.

PRICE PLUNGE:

Iron ore prices averaged about US$74 per tonne in December, down from a record high of almost US$200 a tonne four years ago. Prices hit a five-year low last September amid a glut of supply, especially from low-cost producers.

HAMPER DEMAND:

The regional Labrador West food bank handed out about 30 hampers a month before the mine closed, but now demand for them is as high as 60 hampers a month.

HOUSING CRASH:

A bungalow in Wabush two years ago sold for about $370,000, which has dropped to about $220,000. Local Big Land Realty says two years ago, it might have had 10 houses for sale. Now the company has 52 homes for sale and it is getting more listings each week.

RENTAL FREE-FALL:

Contractors paid about $4,000 a month to rent a bungalow for workers at the height of the town's boom, but many contractors have left town and bungalows are now renting for about $1,500 a month.