THEHALIFAXINDEX                An economic gut check with insights for actionPRESENTED BY:
WHY THE HALIFAX INDEX?AGREATERHalifax, the 2011-16 economic strategy for Halifax, is about two fundamental things:•	      ...
REGIONAL CENTRE                                                                             ECONOMIC STRATEGYGOAL:Build a ...
BUSINESS CLIMATE                                                                                                          ...
TALENT                                                                                                          ECONOMIC S...
INTERNATIONAL BRAND                                                                                      ECONOMIC STRATEGY...
MAXIMIZE GROWTHOPPORTUNITIES                                                                                              ...
PEOPLE                                                                                                                    ...
ECONOMY                                                                                                                   ...
QUALITY OF PLACE                                                                                                          ...
SUSTAINABILITY                                                                                                            ...
To download the complete Halifax Index, visit: HALIFAXINDEX .com
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The Halifax Index 2012 Summary


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Halifax State of the Economy Conference 2012

The 1st Halifax Index was launched at the conference. It tells Halifax's city’s story - the strength of the economy, the health of the community, the sustainability of the environment and the progress of the Economic Strategy.

It’s a new and innovative way to measure progress that reaches beyond traditional economic indicators like GDP and jobs.

Download the complete Index at

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The Halifax Index 2012 Summary

  1. 1. THEHALIFAXINDEX An economic gut check with insights for actionPRESENTED BY:
  2. 2. WHY THE HALIFAX INDEX?AGREATERHalifax, the 2011-16 economic strategy for Halifax, is about two fundamental things:• Helping to build better lives for the people who live and work here; and• Aligning our resources and efforts to make our city a place where more people want to live and work in the future.The strategy’s focus is on building vibrant communities and a competitive business environment; creating confidence andpride in the things Halifax does well; building a welcoming and inclusive environment for underrepresented groups; andfocusing on quality of place. As such, a more comprehensive, aligned annual measurement tool is required to match its vision.This measurement tool is the Halifax Index. Its main sections – “People,” “Economy,” “Quality of Place,” and “Sustainability”– reflect a wide-angled view of what economic and community progress looks like. It is meant to provide deep insight intothe community and to allow for course corrections as Halifax moves along the path toward its vision. It is not meant to be apass/fail exercise or to point fingers.The Halifax Index is about sharing timely and relevant information in a useful way. It informs and poses key questionsintended to stimulate productive discussion on the issues towards achieving the goals of AGREATERHalifax. This documentis a summary of the Halifax Index. It also reports on progress towards each of the goal areas in AGREATERHalifax –regional centre, business climate, talent, international brand and maximize growth opportunities.Halifax has a level of opportunity in front of it on a scale never seen before. Grasping a full measure of opportunity meanspeople and businesses will need to make important decisions soon. Maximizing benefits means making the right decisionsnow, and making good decisions requires good information. That’s what The Halifax Index is all about: providing the insightsand knowledge people need to take effective action.To download the complete Halifax Index, or to get involved visit HALIFAXINDEX .com. SPONSORED BY: Gold Sponsors Silver Sponsors Bronze Sponsors WHAT WILL SUCCESS LOOK LIKE?
  3. 3. REGIONAL CENTRE ECONOMIC STRATEGYGOAL:Build a vibrant and attractive Regional Centre that attracts $1.5 billion of private investment and 8,000 more residents.PROGRESS TO DATE:• Regional Plan Review and prioritized Centre Plan processes are underway. HRMbyDesign being implemented. Seven projects approved.• Strategic Urban Partnership (SUP) formed, fundraising now for transition to a paid centre.• Defined regional 5-year $50M capital improvement and prioritized plan.• Momentum is building for development downtown e.g. convention centre, library, RBC Waterside Centre, King’s Wharf.MEASUREMENTS: NUMBER OF PERMITS AND VALUE, REGIONAL CENTRE ANDIncreased building permits in the Regional Centre. RESIDUAL HRM, 2006-2011• Lackluster Regional Centre investment figures indicate challenges; suggests a late start in meeting Regional Plan targets.More private investment in Regional Centre ($1.5 billion) 34,399 6,9 $7 6• Significant increases in private investment required to meet Value $1,7 99,747,327 targets. Shipbuilding win may provide a stable base to improve on of Permits current trends.Regional Centre population growth 2,747 1,919• Low population growth in Regional Centre is challenging despite reversal of 20 year trend of decline. # of Permits• Majority of new residents and 1/3 of residents who move end up in the Regional Centre. Regional Centre• Demographic analysis shows government planning policies are Rest of HRM needed to encourage density. Source: HRM Planning Services POPULATION IN REGIONAL CENTRE AND RESIDUAL HRM, 2006 AND 2011 98,909 291,187 97,077 275,602 Regional Centre Rest of HRM Source: Statistics Canada CensusWHAT’S NEXT?• Implement HRM’s Centre Plan and recommended enhancements to the Regional Plan.• Make changes to provincial legislation to allow density bonusing and measures to advance sustainable and affordable development. MORE BUSINESSES, MORE PEOPLE 2
  4. 4. BUSINESS CLIMATE ECONOMIC STRATEGY GOAL: Promote a business climate that drives and sustains growth by improving competitiveness and by leveraging our strengths. PROGRESS TO DATE: • Proposal underway to study the impact of commercial taxation on the urban core. • Chamber Roundtable on Taxation is ongoing. • Provincial capital tax eliminated as of July 1, 2012. • Project plans developed for tax discussion paper and analysis to reduce regulatory burden. MEASUREMENTS: RATING OF HALIFAX AS A PLACE TO DO BUSINESS Construction approval speed 65% • Gradual improvement in building permit timelines. • One-window approach in development at HRM; should lead to further efficiencies. 15% 16% Perception of business climate 5% • Greater Halifax Partnership’s research shows business Above Just Below Don’t Know/ confidence remains the same; new businesses are more Average Average Average No Answer confident than older ones. Majority surveyed predicting sales increases and additional hiring. April 2012 August 2011 • Only 15% believe Halifax is an above average place to do * Numbers may add up to more than 100% due to rounding. business, down from 23% in 2011. Source: GHP Business Confidence Survey INVESTMENT IN NON-RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION, Competitive public investment 000s, 2011 • Recently has become lower than all $187,118 $403,420 of Halifax’s benchmark cities. • Fluctuates widely and irregularly, $80,314 $93,346 $163,255 irrespective of economic trends. $107,963$304,369 $213,622 $631,194 $381,194 $331,987 $264,328 Competitive business tax burden Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria • Commercial taxes at municipal level City are increasing slower than inflation. Industrial and Commercial • Total corporate income taxes are Institutional and Governmental highest when compared to Canadian Source: Statistics Canada cities but lower than American ones. • Provincial capital tax eliminated as of July 1, 2012. CORPORATE TAX PAYABLE AS A PERCENTAGE OF GROSS PROFIT, BUSINESSES, 2011 Boston (MA) 40.4% WHAT’S NEXT? Raleigh (NC) 39.5% • Halifax Chamber Roundtable to Seattle (WA) 35% provide direction on tax priorities. Halifax (NS) 31% • Complete tax discussion paper and Regina (SK) 28.8% communicate findings. St. John’s (NL) 28.8% • Implement recommendations of Saskatoon (SK) 27% commercial tax and locations decisions Montreal (QC) 26.9% study. Quebec City (QC) 26.9% • Develop strategy to address gaps in Toronto (ON) 26% general tax competitiveness. London (ON) 26% • Clarify top regulatory issues facing Vancouver (BC) 25% business. Victoria (BC) 25% Source: fdi intelligence 3 LARGER LABOUR FORCE RESPONSIVE TO BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS
  5. 5. TALENT ECONOMIC STRATEGY GOAL: Create a welcoming community where the world’s talent can find great opportunities, engaged employers and resources for career advancement. PROGRESS TO DATE: • Greater Halifax Partnership’s Connector Program has been expanded to include young and emerging talent. • Nova Scotia’s Workforce Strategy has been developed to address a shrinking workforce and to help Nova Scotians acquire the right skills for good jobs. • Provincial retention of immigrants has improved significantly. • Expanded foreign-credential recognition efforts are underway. ISSUES DEFINED: INTERNATIONAL IMMIGRANTS TO ATLANTIC CANADIAN CITIES • Enhancing foreign credential 3000 recognition. 2500 2011 • Creating a welcoming community. 2000 2010 2009 • Improving the HR competitive 1500 2008 advantage in small and medium- 1000 2007 sized enterprises. 500 MEASUREMENTS: Halifax St. John’s Charlottetown Fredericton Saint John Moncton Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada Attraction and retention of immigrants and students INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS PRESENT AND • National in-migration has dropped; TRANSITIONS FROM TEMPORARY STUDENT immigrants are heading for high growth cities. TO PERMANENT RESIDENT, 2005-09 • Halifax attracts well above average numbers of 13,546 international students. • International student retention low but remains 6,504 Halifax’s biggest immigrant opportunity. 2,770 1,291 823 856 Employer attitudes 296 373 • Greater Halifax Partnership’s research shows positive Newfoundland Prince Nova New attitudes and interest in hiring skilled immigrants. and Labrador Edward Scotia Brunswick Island • Benchmarking of employer attitudes toward young and emerging talent has been completed. International Students Present Transitions from Temporary Student to Permanent Resident • Availability and quality of labour is a top business Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada concern, but businesses are not too worried yet. Perception of Halifax as a great place to live and work SENSE OF BELONGING TO THE LOCALCOMMUNITY, SOMEWHAT OR VERY STRONG • Quality of life is very high in Halifax in comparison to benchmark cities. • Vast majority of residents feel safe and satisfied with life. • Majority feel healthy and active, with a higher share of 66.3 77.6 58.4 active residents than most benchmark cities. Halifax St. John’s Quebec City • Sense of belonging and low social capital remains a hurdle for talent attraction/retention. WHAT’S NEXT? 68.1 70.8 67.0 London Regina Victoria • Make Halifax a more welcoming community; engage with all population growth areas – young and emerging talent, Source: Statistics Canada immigrants, international students and others. SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH/ACTIVITY (GDP) 4
  6. 6. INTERNATIONAL BRAND ECONOMIC STRATEGY GOAL: Create a unique, international city brand for Halifax. PROGRESS TO DATE: • Background research has been completed, including: • A compilation of existing Halifax brand research, including an assessment of existing stakeholders and current marketers. • A review of branding best practices. • A comprehensive list of Halifax’s functional and emotional benefits. • Definitions of target audiences. • Initial benchmarking of local levels of business confidence. MEASUREMENTS: Business confidence in Halifax • Local business confidence has been benchmarked. • Halifax’s advantages include cost competitiveness for businesses, quality of life, and convenient central locations of key infrastructure/human resources/market conditions. • Comparative disadvantages identified are a lack of diversity, regulation, and high overall levels of taxation. Further indicators will be introduced as brand is developed. HALIFAX BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX 100 The Business 75 Confidence Index is 50 38.5 based on a biannual 26.8 25.6 29.0 26.1 31.1 29.9 29.2 25.9 25 18.6 20.2 20.2 survey of business confidence. It is a 0 weighted average of Overall Halifax Dartmouth Other HRM New Business Established -25 local business attitudes (< 10 years) Business -50 (10+ years) about past, present and future performance. -75 April 2012 August 2011 -100 Source: GHP Business Confidence Survey WHAT’S NEXT? • Secure resources to fund brand development and benchmarking. • Continuing business confidence surveying. • Build a team of “Ambassadors” that promote the city’s new international brand. • Encourage all residents to live the brand!5 HIGHER AVERAGE INCOME
  7. 7. MAXIMIZE GROWTHOPPORTUNITIES ECONOMIC STRATEGYGOAL:Capitalize on our best opportunities for economic growth.PROGRESS TO DATE:• Successful Ships Start Here campaign to rally support for Irving bid. Economic impact analysis complete.• Identification of marine industries cluster as a major opportunity.• First Halifax Index has been completed.• In-depth analysis of growth sectors – aerospace and defence, financial services, ICT and digital technologies, oceans, transportation and logistics, and life sciences.• The Halifax Marine Research Institute has been launched.MEASUREMENTS:Increased productivity REAL GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) PER CAPITA, 2006-2011• Halifax trails benchmark cities in GDP per capita and R&D as $33,592 $42,707 $34,519 $34,960 $39,179 $33,879 2011 a percentage of GDP.• Business confidence is an imperative that Halifax can’t 2006 $31,922 $36,877 $33,097 $37,029 $36,865 $32,616 overlook. Halifax needs a business climate that builds Halifax St. John’s Quebec City London Regina Victoria confidence and drives more investment, hiring, R&D and Source: The Conference Board of Canada, Statistics Canada new product development.Further indicators will bedeveloped as this area COMMERCIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTprogresses. SPENDING AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP Boston (MA) 6.97% Seattle (WA) 4.85% Montreal (QC) 2.61% Quebec City (QC) 2.61% Toronto (ON) 2.37% London (ON) 2.37% Raleigh (NC) 2.36% St. John’s (NL) 1.81% Halifax (NS) 1.51% Victoria (BC) 1.42% Vancouver (BC) 1.42% Regina (SK) 0.81% Saskatoon (SK) 0.81% Source: fDi intelligence WHAT’S NEXT? • Leverage shipbuilding opportunity. • Halifax Index: Create stronger economic and community partnerships; strengthen and deepen findings. • Halifax Gateway: Logistics Park and air route development. • Competitive Intelligence: Research and act on opportunities and challenges. • Further a culture of partnership and innovation, and act on opportunities and challenges based on the successful Ships Start Here model. COST COMPETITIVE AND CONTAGIOUS BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT 6
  8. 8. PEOPLE HALIFAX INDEX KEY OPPORTUNITY: Grow Halifax’s population: Halifax needs more immigrants; increased retention of international students; and more high- value jobs for young professionals who want to stay in or return to Halifax. Halifax has the largest population of international students and the region’s lowest retention rate; international students are Halifax’s best immigration opportunity. INDICATORS: POPULATION ESTIMATES 761,745 • Now home to over 408,000 people, Halifax’s population growth has been strong in 496,941 comparison to benchmark cities. 408,198 360,876 196,222 218,690 • Halifax’s population is aging at comparable rates to other benchmark cities. Halifax has the second-highest proportion of people at Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria labour force age (15-64). City 2011 2006 Source: Statistics Canada ANNUAL MIGRATION ESTIMATES, HALIFAX • Declining international and intraprovincial migration indicate Halifax’s ability to attract 1,896 new residents has slipped compared to regional cities. 1,231 • Halifax is a Smart City. Halifax’s labour force Interprovincial education rates are comparatively higher than International Intraprovincial most of the benchmark cities. -852 • Enrolments in universities are steady and 2010-2011 showing recent signs of growth. Community 2006-2007 college enrolments increased 14% from Source: Statistics Canada 2006-2011, and graduates provide more skilled labour for the labour market. • Solid labour force and employment LABOUR FORCE AND EMPLOYMENT GROWTH, 000s growth, mixed with relatively strong participation (70.3%) and low 600 unemployment (6.2%) rates, indicate 442.2 418.6 the marketplace for talent is currently 400 in good shape. 266.6 243.0 238.1 223.3 194.3 182.3 200 128.4 122.2 112.2 104.7 Halifax St. John’s Quebec City London Regina Victoria 2011 Labour Force 2011 Employment 2006 Labour Force 2006 Employment Source: Statistics Canada7 THEHALIFAXINDEX TELLS THE CITY’S STORY –
  9. 9. ECONOMY HALIFAX INDEXKEY CHALLENGE:Improve the tax and regulatory climate. This presents barriers to business growth and individual success. The tax sideis difficult to address in the short-term given the fiscal challenges faced by cash-strapped governments, but there are fewexcuses for poor customer service. Getting regulation and client service right needs to become a priority for all business-facing organizations.INDICATORS: REAL GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP), 2002 $MILLIONS• Halifax has achieved strong GDP growth, and its diverse economy $26,295 weathered the recession of 2008-09 $17,373 relatively unscathed. Growth is $13,712 $12,226 $8,380 $8,568 expected to be moderate in 2012.• Halifax’s productivity continues to Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria City be an issue, lagging behind other benchmark cities. 2011 2006 Source: The Conference Board of Canada• Employment growth has fueled strong retail and housing markets. RETAIL SALES PER CAPITA• Both private and public investment in construction, particularly in the Regional $21,359 $18,270 $16,596 Centre, has not kept up to levels seen in $16,007 other cities. $12,376 $11,389• Plenty of people are moving through the Halifax Gateway (air and cruise Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria passengers). Air, sea and land cargo City are recovering from recessionary dip in demand. 2011 2006 Source: Statistics Canada• New businesses are more confident than existing ones. Improvements in business climate will have the biggest VALUE OF BUILDING PERMITS, 000s, 2011 impact on confidence. $586,661• Office space development is mostly $958,984 occurring outside the downtown core. Downtown office space inventories declined between 2006 and 2011 $272,940 while peripheral inventories added $158,873 $300,042 $221,167 one million sq. ft. Vacancy rates have also increased in the downtown. $522,869 $477,812 $1,087,986 $443,636 $352,954 $420,090 Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria City Residential Non-Residential Source: Statistics Canada THE STRENGTH OF THE ECONOMY, THE HEALTH OF THE COMMUNITY, 8
  10. 10. QUALITY OF PLACE HALIFAX INDEX KEY OPPORTUNITY: Creating a culture of partnership. Halifax’s biggest challenge is simple: the community needs to nurture a culture of partnership when tackling every challenge and every opportunity. Halifax needs a community culture that deals with issues by engaging in vital business and community partnerships rather than blaming challenges on others and going it alone. Halifax has to find the tools to maximize the benefits from its natural assets like the harbour, universities, and the major projects that are coming along and to create good outcomes for as many as possible. Furthermore, a culture of partnership should extend to community development projects. Great examples already exist: Our HRM Alliance, the Halifax Marine Research Institute and others. TOTAL CRIME INDEX, CANADA AND BENCHMARK CITIES INDICATORS: • Crime and violent crime indicators 131.4 show Halifax is reducing crime levels. 96.8 101.9 Largely, residents feel safe where 82.4 83.7 they live and work and businesses are 56.1 satisfied with police services. • Halifax is a relatively healthy and Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria active city in comparison to its City benchmark cities. 2011 2006 Source: Statistics Canada EMPLOYMENT IN ARTS, CULTURE AND RECREATION (000s) 13.8 11.7 • Over half of Halifax residents in the Regional Centre use either public or active transportation to 8.0 get to work; this is in contrast to only 15% in the 7.6 rest of Halifax. 3.4 3.7 • Halifax is a comparatively expensive city with personal income levels in the middle of benchmark cities. Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria City 2011 2006 Source: Statistics Canada PERCENTAGE (12+) SATISFIED OR VERY SATISFIED WITH LIFE • Halifax has a growing arts and culture sector with wages increasing at higher-than-average rates. 93.6 91.5 95.7 • Overall life satisfaction is exceptionally high in Halifax St. John’s Quebec City Halifax, but this does not translate to a high level of community belonging. 91.3 92.4 89.3 London Regina Victoria Source: Statistics Canada9 THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE ENVIRONMENT,
  11. 11. SUSTAINABILITY HALIFAX INDEX KEY CHALLENGE: Grow a healthy Regional Centre. While there has been plenty of commercial space development in Halifax over the last few years, 96% of new inventory between 2008 and 2010 was located outside of the urban core. At the same time, vacancy rates in the Regional Centre for office space have risen dramatically. This could be an indication that the urban core is at a tipping point. Taking action now to ensure the heart of the community is healthy is essential to the well-being of the entire city. Meeting population targets for the urban core where civic infrastructure and services already exist are vital to the long-term sustainability of Halifax. DENSITY (PERSONS PER KM2), 2006 AND 2011 495.0 INDICATORS: 244.8 228.6 • Halifax’s population density is low in 178.1 71.0 61.8 comparison to other benchmark cities; increasing density in urban areas is vital to Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria ensuring sustainable infrastructure spending. City 2011 2006 Source: Statistics Canada Census PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION WHO WALKED,BICYCLED OR TOOK PUBLIC TRANSIT TO WORK, 2006 16.1% 11.1% • Halifax has the second highest national 7.7% 8.7% percentage of people who use public or 7.7% active transportation to get to work; use 6.8% 7.2% of public transportation is increasing. Satisfaction with public transit has 11.0% 11.9% 2.9% 10.2% 6.7% 4.2% 10.2% decreased in the past year. Canada Halifax St. John’s Quebec London Regina Victoria City Public Transit Walked or Bicycled Source: Statistics Canada Census AIR QUALITY MEASURES, 2011 (# OF TEST SITES IN PARENTHESES) 34.37 30.27 • Halifax’s water and air are among the 20.44 highest quality of benchmark cities and 15.52 waste diversion rates are increasing. 13.12 Waste diversion (rather than disposal) 8.77 7.18 is both environmentally friendly and 3.13 2.27 cost effective. 1.36 1.05 0.00 Halifax (4) St. John’s (1) Quebec London (2) Regina (1) Victoria (7) City (6) Fine Particulate Matter (µg/m3) Ozone (parts per billion) Source: Environment Canada PROPERTY TAX AS A PERCENTAGE OF NOMINAL GDP 3.72% 3.82% 3.71% 3.74% 3.64% 3.49% • The municipality’s fiscal health is in excellent shape; an AA- bond rating 1.26% 1.28% 1.35% 1.29% 1.29% 1.25% signifies confidence on the global lending market. Commercial and overall property tax rates have grown at near economic 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 growth rates. (Proj) All Taxes + PILT over GDP Commercial + BO Tax over GDP Source: HRM Taxation and Fiscal Policy AND THE PROGRESS OF HALIFAX’S ECONOMIC STRATEGY. 10
  12. 12. To download the complete Halifax Index, visit: HALIFAXINDEX .com