ROGER SAUVÉ – We hear a lot about how the job picture and the economy has improved at the national level and that is indeed the reality. While this may be so, recent Statistics Canada reports reveal there are many significant variations around this trend.
Let’s look at the bright side first. In February 2011, cities like Brooks, Alberta and Estevan, Saskatchewan saw the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits decline by at least 50% compared to the same month a year earlier.
What about the other extreme? Among the 143 cities for which EI data is collected, only 13 cities had year to year increases in the number of recipients. The worse of the lot were Cornwall, Parksville on Vancouver Island and Sarnia.
The year to year increase of 7.3% for Cornwall and region pushed the number of EI recipients to almost 1,500 in February. This is the third consecutive month of year to year increases for Cornwall.
In 2010, the number of persons employed in the Cornwall region was 28,000. In 2010, there were 2,200 fewer people working than in 2007. The year 2010 was the third consecutive year that annual job numbers declined in the region. Recent announcements suggest that employment may be shrinking or about to shrink even further.
The number of unemployed in Cornwall averaged 2,800 in 2010. The number unemployed increased every year since 2007 when it averaged 1,900.
The unemployment rate increased to 9.1% in Cornwall in 2010. In 2007, the unemployment rate was 5.9%. The unemployment rate also increased during each of the last three years.
Questions about Cornwall’s weakening job picture should be a major issue in the local election campaign. And the questions should be based on real numbers from an official source … Statistics Canada.
According to pollster Nic Nanos, Canadians place healthcare (31%) and jobs/the economy (28%) as the top two concerns in this election. Far below are concerns about the environment, education and high taxes.
Roger Sauvé is President of People Patterns Consulting (www.peoplepatternsconsulting.com). Roger is an economist and demographer.