The number of people looking for work grew slightly last month, accounting for the slight increase in the jobless rate.
In his monthly report on northern Ontario’s labour market, Laurentian University economist David Robinson wrote that June’s employment figures show the boom in employment in the resources sector has come to a halt.
“We seem to be seeing losses for resource areas like northern Ontario and the Prairie provinces and gains for the major industrial areas,” Robinson wrote.
“The goods-producing sector lost 21,200 jobs while education and health care and social assistance added 39,200 jobs.”
While Sudbury’s long-term outlook remains strong, with several major projects in the books for the coming months and years, job growth has slowed in the short term.
On the positive side, Robison said Ontario posted major gains in new jobs overall, and most of those were full time. Ontario added 20,200 jobs, while Alberta, an economic powerhouse thanks to its oilsands, lost 8,600.
“This is a sign of a strengthening economy,” he said, of the growth in full-time work.
Women also made major gains in June, with female employment increasing by 35,200, while male employment declined by 27,900.
The data comes a day after a Conference Board of Canada report that predicted Sudbury’s Gross Domestic Product will increase by 2.2 per cent in 2012, down slightly from 2.4 per cent in 2011.
The board says growth is slowing slightly because of “moderate growth in the mining and construction sectors.”
But on Friday, Mayor Marianne Matichuk’s office characterized the board’s prediction as too conservative and out of step with other forecasts.
“It’s good to see this community’s hard work growing and diversifying its economy is paying off,” Matichuk said in a news release. “But every indication is that the city is poised for a sustained economic boom.”
In May, BMO Capital Markets predicted Sudbury would add 4,000 new jobs by 2016. The study predicted the city’s jobless rate would hit 6 per cent by 2016, about half a percentage point below the Ontario average and back near pre-recession lows.
“Greater Sudbury’s economy is being driven by the $6.3 billion in confirmed or planned investments and mining, and also by innovations in mining sales and service sector, in environmental rehabilitation, in health care and in education,” Matichuk’s press release said.
The real challenge for Sudbury in the coming years is attracting and retaining a skilled work force, the release said.
Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop, critic for Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Reform, said while meeting with Matichuk and other city officials this week, young Ontarians starting careers in the skilled trades are still heading to Western Canada.
“I have been meeting with community partners about this issue and there is clearly a growing consensus that this challenge can be met,” Matichuk said.
“The graduating engineers, geologists, technicians and other skilled trades will find promising futures in Greater Sudbury. That’s how we will keep our economy moving forward.”
Posted by Arron Pickard