Northern urban centres see net job losses – by Antonella Artuso (Timmins Daily Press – November 3, 2017)

TIMMINS – Northern Ontario has not shared in the province’s job growth since the 2008 recession, a new report says. In fact, the Fraser Institute report says almost all the job growth in Ontario over the past nine years has been confined to the Toronto and Ottawa areas.

The study finds that 11 of the province’s 23 urban areas actually experienced net job losses from 2008 to 2016. including every major city in Northern Ontario.

Uneven Recovery, by Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen, reports that while huge swaths of the province have lost jobs since the recession, their economic pain is hidden in Ontario-wide statistics because of the over-sized impact of the City of Toronto.

“It’s important to understand that even if you’re looking at the provincial-level statistics, it’s not as if they’re really rosy,” said Eisen, director of the Fraser Institute’s Ontario Prosperity Initiative. “It’s just that things are even worse, so to speak, in these other parts of the province … It matters because those are still places where lots and lots of Canadians live.”

The Fraser Institute report says that almost 99 per cent of net job creation in Ontario was confined to the Toronto and Ottawa regions, while job growth was negative in major cities like London, Timmins, Sudbury and Sarnia from 2008 to 2016.

Sudbury experienced a 1% loss in jobs, Uneven Recovery says. Other Northern Ontario communities were hit much harder – Sault Ste. Marie saw a job drop of 16.1%, North Bay lost 9% of its employment, the report says. In Thunder Bay, the number was -3.5%, while in Timmins it was -6.3%.

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