Sudbury’s economy in bad ‘cycle’ – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – January 13, 2016)

Sudbury lags behind many other centres in job retention and creation, judging by a recent analysis of labour markets in Canada.

In fact, the City of Lakes is rock bottom among 33 cities ranked by BMO Capital Markets in a monthly report card issued Jan. 8.

Topping the list is Guelph, a city of comparable size to Sudbury but one whose economy is apparently humming along at a significantly better clip.

The southwestern Ontario city boasts “robust job growth, population inflows, a puny 4.2 per cent jobless rate and the highest share of the population that is working,” the report says.

Sudbury, by contrast, has an unemployment rate that’s double that of Guelph’s, at 8.4 per cent, and up sharply from its own 6 per cent jobless figure last year.

Employment dipped by 5.9 per cent in Sudbury compared to last year, while the population remained basically static.

Last year, BMO put Sudbury in the middle of the 33-city pack for labour market performance. Now the city has slid 14 rungs to occupy the very basement.

While that’s not a distinction any centre would care to celebrate, local members of the business community weren’t taking it too hard, or too personally.

“We believe these figures may speak to the current soft economy and what’s going on globally in terms of commodity prices — the price of oil and growth in China, for example,” said Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce board chair Karen Hourtovenko in a release.

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