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FAO finds job growth across Ontario in 2022

By Randy Thoms Mar 21, 2023 | 4:33 PM

Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

Every part of the province saw job growth in 2022.

A report from the province’s Financial Accountability Office says that brought the unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels.

The province-wide growth has been a long time coming.

The FAO says it is the first time in about twenty years.

Northern Ontario saw growth, but Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman says it wasn’t as strong as other parts of the province.

“There are some areas, some regions that have grown much more slowly than others, and they are often the same ones, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Brantford. Branford is not always in that category. But I think, again speculative because the report doesn’t get into that, but certainly, there have been challenges in those parts of the province in recruiting,” says Weltman.

Weltman notes health care is one of the fields where attracting people to the north has not always been easy.

“Also, Thunder Bay and Sudbury are much more, very highly dependent on a concentration of employers and subject to the economics of that particular industry, mining or forestry or whatever the case is. So that could explain some of the lag.”

Despite Ontario’s strong job growth, Weltman cautions there are still hiring challenges being faced.”

He notes over 36 per cent of job vacancies are going unfilled for 90 days or more.

“We suspect that some of the explanation might be companies maybe what we call over-hiring or hiring extra staff just to make sure they can staff all the jobs that they need staffed.”

Some areas are still recovering from the pandemic.

The accommodation, food services, transportation, agriculture, business and other support services sectors were all hit hard by shutdowns and closures.

The number of people working in the accommodation and food services sector is more than 13 per cent lower than it was in 2019.

At the same time, several major industries have enjoyed employment gains.

The construction workforce is up 9.2 per cent, while the health care sector has 3.8 per cent more workers than in 2019.



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