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This is really interesting stuff. I have to say its great to have a economics blog like this covering Canadian issues. Very useful and interesting.

The data you present here backs up my intuition. Speaking from a region where there is net outmigration (Atlantic Canada), and also having an economics background, I can really see the struggle between the economic and social aspects of this trend. People are going to where the jobs are. That's a good thing. Most people understand that on some level. Most people realize its better to be employed in northern Alberta than unemployed in rural NL for example. And I think even the friends and family who are left behind realize that. But from a social point of view, its extremely difficult. People are upset, and most people do not think like economists. So they see outmigration as a problem to be solved. Hence, the plethora of "job creation" and "economic development" plans and spending that have little or no impact. Its an interesting and difficult trade-off.

Great analysis! The importance of inter-regional migration in equalizing wages is an important one where there is no real consensus as of yet. In my opinion, recent regionally differences in growth rates are the highest in Canada in decades (but I havent looked at the numbers and would like to be proven wrong), and now that Canadians are more able to access other parts of the country than in previous cases, we can see the true effects of relatively free migration (with some exceptions) on real wages in a non-US and non-EU example, where inter-regional migration is very high and very low, respectively. This gives me some research ideas...

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