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Essentially this means that the exploitation of the Oil Sands, a resource that has only reached its economic potential recently is having a measurable impact on Alberta's relative performance?

This goes along with the fact that before the Leduc Well in the 1940's Alberta was the poorest province in Canada and was perennially a have-not. Oil changed everything.

With respect to BC, I don't have any particular backing for this, but I think the big contributors to employment growth over the past 25+ years have been population growth, and to a lesser extent structural change. Large influxes of immigrants from Asia to BC have pushed up demand for all sorts of service and distribution jobs in the lower mainland area. Over time, it seems that there has been a shift in the provincial economy from resource extraction and exportation to services. At the very least, the forestry and mining industries are not as significant employers as they were in past. Some of the services , such as tourism and higher education, are major exports of the province.

Sorry. Late to reading this....I was actually busy comparing job growth in cities across the country. Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa--in that order--were the cities with the largest percentage job growth between 2001-2011 according to the Labour Force Survey.

For BC, add the economic driver of facilitating trade: imports and exports via the Ports in Vancouver and now Rupert (and some other smaller ones on the coast), and people. The Vancouver International Airport is intriguingly enough a fairly significant economic driver for the region. You could put this under "services" but it is a large, and under-appreciated generator of income for the region (harder to track then, say, making cars or exporting lumber).

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