Nor­folk job­less rate re­mains steady

The Delhi News-Record - - FRONT PAGE - JA­COB ROBINSON

Look­ing for work? You’re in luck.

Just take a drive along the Queensway and you’ll see a num­ber of area busi­nesses have open­ings.

Sur­pris­ingly though, Nor­folk’s un­em­ploy­ment rate reg­is­tered at 4.7 per cent for Oc­to­ber. While those num­bers are only an es­ti­mate through a small sam­ple size, they’re in line with the rates across On­tario.

“A cou­ple of things are hap­pen­ing,” said Jill Ha­lyk, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Work­force Plan­ning Board of Grand Erie. “The num­ber of peo­ple work­ing or look­ing for work has been sort of stag­nant in the area for quite a long time and it is right across On­tario, in fact in some ar­eas it’s de­clin­ing.”

Also, more jobs across the prov­ince – in­clud­ing al­most 5,000 added in the Brant­ford area in re­cent months – has di­min­ished the tal­ent pool.

“Then there’s competition be­tween sec­tors, so as there are more full-time jobs and per­ma­nent part-time jobs, peo­ple are look­ing for those bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties - they’re will­ing to move for higher wages,” Ha­lyk said. “There is some turnover and some churn in the labour mar­ket as well be­cause of an im­proved econ­omy.”

Nor­folk’s lat­est un­em­ploy­ment rate de­clined slightly from 4.9 per cent last month.

The na­tional job­less rate was 6.3 per cent and On­tario rate was 6.3 per cent in Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by Sta­tis­tics Canada Fri­day.

The Plan­ning Board is work­ing on a num­ber of projects right now. Time af­ter time – es­pe­cially when it comes to the weld­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor – em­ploy­ers aren’t get­ting enough ap­pli­cants to fill their po­si­tions.

“When the econ­omy im­proves a lit­tle bit it en­cour­ages peo­ple who maybe dropped out to kind of dip their toe back in the wa­ter and start to get a lit­tle bit more op­ti­mistic about find­ing things,” Ha­lyk said. “One of the things peo­ple strug­gle with is know­ing where their skills fit – what have they done in the past or if they’re a newer grad­u­ate out of high school, what is it that they can take into the work­place and where does it fit? That can be tough to fig­ure out.”

Ha­lyk sug­gests those folks within Nor­folk con­sider work­ing with Fan­shawe’s Com­mu­nity Ca­reer and Em­ploy­ment Ser­vices in Sim­coe to help nar­row their search.

“I think peo­ple have stopped ap­ply­ing for jobs di­rectly and they think that there’s noth­ing there,” she said. “I would en­cour­age them to start tak­ing ad­van­tage of those road signs, mak­ing sure they’re get­ting their re­sumes in but also re­search­ing what they want to do and ap­ply for com­pa­nies that they think they’re in­ter­ested in be­cause most of those com­pa­nies are hir­ing.”

As it re­lates to weld­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers, they’ve rec­og­nized the cur­rent work­force is less skilled than re­cent years and are will­ing to pro­vide in-house train­ing to get em­ploy­ees up to speed.

“Some­times they pre­fer it that way be­cause they’re not cor­rect­ing some­one’s train­ing – they’re teach­ing what they need on the job at their fa­cil­i­ties so some­times that’s an at­trac­tive as­pect for them,” Ha­lyk points out.

The good news for job seek­ers is that the cur­rent trend of op­por­tu­ni­ties doesn’t ap­pear to be chang­ing any­time soon.

“I know that there are still peo­ple who are strug­gling to get work in their field of study but right now the de­mand is there,” Ha­lyk said.

“We’re see­ing con­tin­ued em­ploy­ment growth and I don’t think that’s go­ing to dis­ap­pear any­time too soon.”

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