A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jobs, or the lack thereof....

Its been a while since I looked at the situation regarding employment in our area but with my son laid off due to lack of work a very thin listing of positions available on both ?? and other on line resources I thought I would take another look. The Rural Ontario Institute has saved me wading through the government numbers with a recent report which among other things compares the job situation in urban areas verses non urban. It is no surprise to me that we here in Grey Bruce are one of the highest unemployment areas amongst rural areas which are already worse off than the urban areas which are also struggling. All in all its not a pretty picture here in Ontario.

Here in part is what they have found......

Jobs have been declining in non-metro Ontario for 10 consecutive months – from October, 2012 to June, 2013 the non-metro job decline is larger than the 2001 recession and larger than the 2005-2006 recession. The present decline is approaching the depth of the 2009-2010 recession.
In contrast, metro areas continue to grow – the only period over the last decade with metro job decline
was during the 2009-2010 recession, however, not all metro centres are growing. Comparing June, 2013 to June, 2012, jobs have declined in Kingston, Peterborough, Oshawa, Hamilton, KitchenerCambridge Waterloo, Guelph, Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

Two economic regions had a decline of jobs of 6% or more in June, 2013, compared to June, 2012 – Muskoka-Kawarthas and Stratford-Bruce Peninsula (includes Grey Bruce)
Other regions with declines were Kingston-Pembroke, Northeast and a recent decline in Northwest.

Judging from the job listing which were starting to look encouraging during the summer those numbers of jobs available have declined considerably over recent months, given that many jobs in this area tend to be seasonal this is no surprise but I do wonder how many listing there will be in the spring, at the present time unless you are a heath professional or a waitress or store clerk you are SOL!

See their report for charts and figures.

Then our friend Owen over at Northern Reflections draws our attention to this from The Huffington Post

Looking at StatsCan’s latest job numbers, released last week, BMO economist Benjamin Reitzes notes that Canada created fewer than 175,000 net jobs in the year to date (meaning all of 2013 except December).
As Owen points out it's not just about a paucity of jobs. It's about the kind of jobs that are being created:
Even the latest numbers for November look negative when digging into the details. While the jobless rate held steady at 6.9 per cent and Canada registered 22,000 new jobs during the month, 20,000 of those were part-time, notes Erin Weir, an economist for the United Steelworkers.

Broken down another way, 19,000 of the employment increase were people reporting themselves as self-employed,” Weir writes. “Canadian employers actually hired fewer than 3,000 [net] additional employees last month.”
Certainly its looking very bleak in many communities across Canada and more so in Ontario where several major food processing plants have recently announced they are 'consolidating operations' and shutting down their operations. This is particularly troubling because is some instances it has directly impacted the farming community that provided the input for these processing plants. Instead of becoming more self-sufficient and growing and processing our own food and providing jobs for out citizens it seems that things are going the other way, will we soon be shipping all our raw food out of country just to buy it back as processed canned goods. It is no different in the manufacturing industries, we are buying our “stuff” from Japan & China & the U.S., anywhere but 'made in Canada. No wonder there are no jobs, seems like a self defeating circle where we will all soon be totally at the mercy of foreign nations and those 'free' trade agreements.

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