ECONOMIC INSIGHTS: Highlights from the Economic Growth Plan: Years 3-5 Action Plan

July 16, 2018

Recently, the Partnership launched the Economic Growth Plan: Years 3-5 Action Plan

Now two years into Halifax’s Economic Growth Plan for 2016-21, we can see and feel the energy, momentum and evidence of our growing city. Cranes dot the city’s skyline, and large residential, commercial, institutional, and infrastructure construction projects continue to come on line. 

The Years 3-5 Action Plan – developed collaboratively by the Partnership and HRM – builds upon the previous action plan, with the same four five-year strategic goals.

EGP - Graphic

We’ve had a great start on our journey, but we must continue to look forward and remain focused on achieving our long-term targets. 

Promote and Maximize Growth
Goal: Grow Halifax’s GDP to $22.5 billion by 2021

  • Overall, we are making progress, but GDP is not growing fast enough to reach our targets.
  • We’ve seen increases in:
    • Per capita income growth from 1.2% to 1.7%.
    • The total number of jobs.
    • The commercial property tax base which is currently at $8.3 billion, up from $7.8 billion.
  • Business Confidence has been steadily improving, reaching an all time high this year.
  • The two areas needing improvement are:

Attract and Retain Talent

Goal: Grow Halifax’s Labour Force to 271,000 by 2021

  • We’ve seen increases in the number of youth ages 20 to 29 who are choosing Nova Scotia.
  • In 2015, we were losing a net annual average of 1,300 young people to other provinces. In 2017, we lost only 231.
  • We’ve seen growth in the number of international students studying at our universities and community college, up 666 from 2015, and increases in net international immigration, with 4,544 newcomers coming to Halifax last year.

Make Halifax a Better Place to Live and Work
Goal: Grow Halifax’s population to 471,000 by 2021

  • The great news is that we are on track to meet our population goals, having grown by 1.6% in 2017 to 431,701 people – above the national growth rate.
  • Today, there are almost 14,000 more people living in Halifax than in 2015.
  • Where we have some work to do is in improving residents’ sense of belonging to our community, and their opinions on quality of life factors like housing affordability, recreation facilities, mobility, and arts and culture offerings.

What’s New?

Notable changes in the Years 3-5 Action Plan include three fewer talent attraction and retention actions to reduce duplication. There has also been an addition of actions related to:
  • The Partnership’s work to accelerate innovation and pursue major opportunities like the Amazon HQ2 bid.
  • HRM’s assessment of potential commercial tax improvements identified by the business community.
  • Issues of importance to the African Nova Scotian community.
  • New rural economic development actions focused on realizing opportunities like broadband/cellular infrastructure, tourism, and resource extraction and agriculture.

There is a role for everyone to play in growing Halifax’s economy, and the Partnership and HRM look forward to working with private, public, post-secondary and not-for-profit partners and stakeholders to execute the Economic Growth Plan over the next three years.

To view the Economic Growth Plan: Years 3-5 Action Plan,
click here.