New poll shows Albertans feel financially worse off than other provinces

According to a recent Angus Reid poll, Alberta has the highest percentage of people who feel as though their financial situation has worsened over the last year.

Yesterday, Angus Reid published a report showing that 2 in 5 Canadians are financially worse off now than they were a year ago.

According to a poll they conducted 7–12 January 2022 among over 5,000 Canadians, Angus Reid found that 39% of them have lower incomes, more precarious housing situations, and more difficulty keeping up with inflationary trends. As well, thus group apparently are trying to survive on stagnant wages.

Angus Reid says that in the 13 years they have been tracking this data, 39% is the highest they’ve ever seen this group of Canadians poll at.

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More than half of respondents (57%) claim that they’re struggling to feed their household, up from 2019, when it was 36%. Plus, those who find it easy to feed their household is at only 41%, down from 62% in April 2019.

Not only that, but nearly 1 in 3 of respondents (29%) fully expect that their financial situation will worsen over the next year.

As far as the provinces go, more Albertans think they’re worse off financially when compared to residents of other provinces. Virtually half of Albertans (49%) think they’re worse off, followed by Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, both at 47%.

Not only that, but Alberta has the lowest share of people who feel they’re better off financially than they were last year. Only 13% of Alberta respondents think that things are actually better for them now than they were in 2021. Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Ontario are in second place, with 15% of respondents thinking they’re better off.

As well, 3 in 5 Alberta respondents said they were either financially struggling (35%) or financially “uncomfortable” (26%). That puts Alberta in third place, with 69% of respondents in Newfoundland and Labrador and 61% in Saskatchewan indicating either one of those two financial situations.

On the other side of the spectrum, only 16% of Alberta respondents felt that they were thriving financially, behind only Newfoundland and Labrador (13%) and New Brunswick (15%) and tied with Manitoba.

Also, 1 in 4 Alberta participants said they were financially comfortable. That put them tied for 4th place with Nova Scotia, behind New Brunswick (28%), Québec (27%), and Manitoba (26%).

When asked how a jump of 2 percentage points in interest rates would affect their household financial situation, Alberta was one of 3 provinces that saw 66% of respondents say it would have a negative impact, the highest percentage of all the provinces.

Alberta respondents were most likely to say that their wages haven’t increased enough to compensate for higher prices of goods and services. In fact, 90% of respondents in Alberta said that their pay hasn’t increased enough. The next highest was Newfoundland and Labrador, at 88%.

About 3 out of 4 participants from Alberta said that their household debt is a source stress for them (42% minor and 31% major). They were tied for second place with Saskatchewan and behind Newfoundland and Labrador, where 78% considered their household debt to be a source of stress.

Alberta was also third highest among those who thought that their housing situation was financially tough or difficult. Tied with Ontario at 41%, Alberta came behind Newfoundland and Labrador (47%) and Saskatchewan (44%).

For every 3 participants in Alberta, 2 of them said that it’s difficult to feed their household, putting them slightly behind New Brunswick (also at 2 out of 3) and Newfoundland and Labrador (4 out of 5).

In summary, here’s how Alberta participants fared, compared to other provinces:

Wages hasn’t increased enough to match inflation1st
Financially worse off1st
Higher interest rates would have negative impact1st
Household debt is stressful2nd
Financially struggling or uncomfortable3rd
Tough or difficult housing financial situation3rd
Difficult to feed household3rd

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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