Sur­vey aims to tell ‘story’ on lo­cal job sat­is­fac­tion

Stats Can phone sur­vey be­ing con­ducted Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 will dig deeper into em­ploy­ment

The Observer (Sarnia) - - FRONT PAGE - TYLER KULA tkula@postmedia.com

Num­ber crunch­ers at the lo­cal work­force de­vel­op­ment cor­po­ra­tion are amped up about a new Statis­tics Canada sur­vey prob­ing what lo­cal work­ers think about their em­ploy­ment.

“We’re data geeks, so this is re­ally ex­cit­ing for us,” said Shauna Carr, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the not-for-profit Sar­nia Lambton Work­force De­vel­op­ment Board.

“This is the story, and we al­ways want to tell the story.”

At the be­hest of the board, which iden­ti­fies it­self as a “neu­tral bro­ker of re­search” and func­tions to un­der­stand and im­prove the lo­cal em­ploy­ment pic­ture, Statis­tics Canada is tele­phon­ing 2,000 ran­domly se­lected house­holds in Sar­nia-Lambton be­tween Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.

The idea is to get data about how sat­is­fied peo­ple are with their em­ploy­ment sit­u­a­tion, Carr said, not­ing it’s in­for­ma­tion that’s not other­wise avail­able right now.

“It’s more the story as op­posed to the hard num­bers,” she said.

The in­for­ma­tion sought in­cludes whether peo­ple are happy with their jobs, with pro­vi­sions from em­ploy­ers, and if they’re not, why.

“When we’re look­ing at sep­a­ra­tions from work, what are those from? Are those be­cause peo­ple are un­happy with their job? Is it sim­ply be­cause their sched­ules just aren’t work­ing for them?”

Some try­ing to crack into the work­force — in fields such as nurs­ing, for in­stance, Carr said — don’t re­al­ize not ev­ery­thing is “9 to 5.”

“That’s just not the re­al­ity of work in On­tario,” she said.

Hopes are pub­lish­ing the sur­vey re­sults — ag­gre­gate, not spe­cific peo­ples’ in­for­ma­tion, she said — will let peo­ple have a bet­ter idea of what’s avail­able, and make more in­formed de­ci­sions.

An­other ques­tion, she said – how does shift work im­pact peo­ple lo­cally?

“Hon­estly, I have no idea,” she said, adding shift work “is huge here.”

Plans are to in­clude the data in the board’s an­nual Lo­cal Labour Mar­ket Plan, a three-year look at job seek­ers, em­ploy­ment trends and other data, Carr said. That’s ex­pected in Fe­bru­ary.

If not there, it will be pub­lished on its own, she said.

If the data shows em­ploy­ees are happy with their work, it’s a feather in the cap for the area in terms of at­tract­ing prospec­tive em­ploy­ers, she said.

“If they’re un­happy, then we need to be look­ing se­ri­ously at what we’re do­ing and mod­i­fy­ing our be­hav­iour.”

Many lo­cal em­ploy­ers are good at of­fer­ing flex­i­bil­ity and ben­e­fits, said, but that in­for­ma­tion is from the em­ploy­ers.

“I want to hear it from the em­ploy­ees’ side.”

No in­di­vid­ual re­sponses or iden­ti­fy­ing in­for­ma­tion will be shared with the board, and par­tic­i­pa­tion is vol­un­tary, she said, not­ing in­ter­view­ers will iden­tify them­selves as be­ing em­ploy­ees of Statis­tics Canada.

“Please an­swer it if you have the time to do it,” she said. “It is le­git­i­mate and we are very ex­cited to gain this in­for­ma­tion from our com­mu­nity.”

I want to hear it from the em­ploy­ees’ side.”

Shauna Carr

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