The Canadian province of Alberta is occasionally billed as the "Texas of Canada” for its immense land size, cowboy culture and copious amounts of oil. A recent study, however, concluded that Texas has fared better than its northern cousin during the recent oil and gas downturn.
The study, conducted by The Fraser Institute, says that while Texas and Alberta were badly affected by the oil decline, the Lone Star State saw its unemployment rate continue to decline and economy grow while Alberta’s unemployment rate has increased since the end of the oil boom in 2014.
"While Alberta suffered a steep recession starting in 2014 followed by a period of tepid economic recovery, Texas’s economy has performed substantially better, and has returned to strong economic growth and low unemployment," the study concludes.
In the last half-decade, Texas’s unemployment rate fell to below four percent last year, the reported stated. Texas also added jobs at a rate of about 1.7 percent following the end of the oil crisis while Alberta's grew at 0.6 percent.
Alberta used to best Texas in unemployment for a decade until 2014. Fraser's study showed that Alberta posted a 3.8 percent unemployment rate to Texas’ 4.6 percent mark five years ago' before it began seeing negative effects to its economy.
The Institute’s Steve Lafleur told 660 City News that Texas’s economy was able to bounce back because it does not have a state-level income tax. Lafleur also said that Texas is careful with its government spending.
"While many factors have influenced the divergent economic outcomes between Alberta and Texas, it is noteworthy that during this period the two jurisdictions have taken markedly different approaches to public policy," the study says. "In Alberta, spending-fueled deficits, increasing taxes, and the perception that its oil and gas investment climate has become unwelcoming have all, to varying extents, hindered Alberta's ability to compete."
The study also attributes the increasing presence of the technology sector to Texas’s economic prosperity.