Watching the unemployment stats in Canada since the bottom fell out on the market in 2008 has been a lot like watching a soap opera; there have been many ups and downs but little in the way of resolution. So as we find ourselves tossing around phrases like “triple-dip recession” and “fiscal cliff”, how exactly are various Canadian cities faring compared to their home provinces, neighbouring municipalities and the rest of the country? According to Statistics Canada, the good news is that the Canadian economy added 40,000 jobs in December of 2012, lowering the national unemployment rate to 7.1 per cent, the lowest it has been since December 2008.
The Prairies and west coast are doing quite well compared to the rest of the country with provincial unemployment averages ranging from 4.4 to 6.7 per cent. Regina, in particular, is doing fabulously with a super-low jobless rate of 3.7 percent – just over half of the national average.
Things are considerably less rosy in Southern Ontario where the provincial unemployment rate is 8% and industrial centres like Oshawa and Windsor are suffering to the tune of 8.8 and 9.3 per cent.
Things get progressively worse as you head eastward with New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador registering 11.2 and 12 per cent jobless. The interesting thing about these daunting numbers it that it isn’t Saint John and St. John’s where people are hurting, it is the surrounding smaller municipalities and rural areas.
Furthermore, employment statistics haven’t been released for the northern territories, where many communities struggle with underemployment and poverty. How would their numbers shift the overall picture? Hopefully the national numbers continue to improve and these communities see some relief.