CALGARY - For young Canadians looking to land a good job, the West is where it's at, according to a new report released by the Fraser Institute on Tuesday.
The right-leaning think-tank said Alberta and Saskatchewan offer the best opportunities for to 25-to-34 set.
Meanwhile, Ontario and Quebec have prospects that are just as dim as the Atlantic provinces, from which there's long been a westward exodus of workers.
"Today, any young Canadian seeking economic opportunity — a full-time job and the possibility of a middle-income salary or better — has a much better shot in Western Canada," said Mark Milke, author of the study.
"Ontario and Quebec are not providing opportunities for young adults and have been losing their best and brightest to the dynamic, opportunity-rich economies of Western Canada."
The average unemployment rate over the 2003-2012 period for the younger age group in Alberta was 4.2 per cent and in Saskatchewan it was 4.8 per cent, versus more than seven per cent in Ontario and Quebec.
During that period, on a net basis, nearly 61,000 young adults came to Alberta from other parts of the country, while Ontario and Quebec together lost nearly 52,000.
Alberta also has a big edge over other provinces when it comes to private sector investment, a "key driver of employment growth," according to the Fraser Institute.
In 2012, private sector investment in Alberta totalled $60.5 billion, compared with $43.1 billion in Ontario and $25.7 billion in Quebec.
Average per-person income in Alberta during that year was $52,207, compared with $40,838 in Ontario and $37,106 in Quebec.
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