[Sudbury, Canada] City in economic sweet spot – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star – November 5, 2011)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Sudbury is still an “economic sweet spot” when it comes to job creation, but faces the prospect of labour shortages, a Laurentian University economist says.

David Robinson made the comments in an analysis of October’s employment numbers released Friday by Statistics Canada. They showed the unemployment rate in the city dropped to 6.3% last month, compared to the national unemployment rate of 7.3%. Ontario’s jobless rate was 7.6% in October.

“We said last month that Sudbury was in the economic sweet spot for Canada’s economy,” Robinson wrote in his analysis, posted Friday on the Institute of Northern Ontario Research and Development website. “It remains true. Ontario’s economy is stalled but employment in Sudbury rose 1.1%, which is just slightly less than the 1.3% increase reported last month. Employment rose by 900 on a base of 83,800.

“If this rate of increase continues for 12 months, it would represent an annual growth rate for employment of 14%. A 14% growth rate would add 11,746 jobs in one year.”

Robinson said Sudbury has 1,600 more jobs than it had in October 2008.

He said one of the keys, if Sudbury is to continue growing, is to attract workers in professional, scientific and technica l ser vices. Demand for people in those sectors is strong across Canada, he said.

“Sudbury’s pansion depends on being able to attract labour in this sector, and shortages will soon emerge if trends continue,” Robinson wrote. “It is also known that the mining sector as a whole will be requiring very large numbers of new workers as well.

“The supply of workers for mining will be adequate if growth through the rest of the economy is weak, but if strong growth resumes in the next five years, shortages are almost inevitable.”

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