For Immediate Release
May 3, 2017 – North Bay, Ontario
More “help wanted” signs were posted for jobs in Nipissing District in March 2017 than the same month a year ago, the most recent figures released by the local workforce planning board show.
There were 466 vacancies throughout March, a jump of 42 per cent over February and an almost 10 per cent increase year-over year, according to the Labour Market Group’s monthly vacancy report. Those call for applications, published online and in print media, came from 192 different employers.
Health care and social assistance, and sales and services were the top two industries looking to hire.
Over the past year, Nipissing District has seen an average of 396 job postings per month.
“There are vacancies available in a number of different industries that range from highly skilled occupations to low skilled occupations and everything in between,” said Stacie Fiddler, executive director of The Labour Market Group, which hosted a series of awareness events during Workforce Week from April 24-28.
“There are also many options for those just entering the workforce to gain the transferrable skills that are required for jobs of the future,” she added.
While the latest vacancy figures are notable, the demographic and economic trends unfolding in Nipissing point to some challenges – and opportunities – ahead. Nipissing District will see a greying population and declining working age population in years to come, a research study released in April by the Northern Policy Institute found.
“As a small Northern Ontario community, we are already beginning to feel the pressures of an aging population as well as population decline, and local employers are searching for workforce replacement options to meet growing industry demands,” Fiddler explained.
The Government of Canada is preparing for the future labour market today. In Budget 2017, the federal government released an Innovation and Skills Plan that puts the focus on people and the changing nature of the economy. This plan laid out support for jobs retraining, more EI flexibility and better access to lifelong learning.
Among the measures announced in the Innovation and Skills Plan:
- $2.7 billion over six years to boost skills training and employment supports for unemployed and underemployed Canadians;
- $225 million over four years to identify and fill skill gaps to help Canadians be prepared for the new economy;
- $132.4 million over four years to make Employment Insurance more flexible and enable more unemployed workers to pursue training while remaining eligible for benefits; and
- $396 million over three years in addition to a $330 million annual allocation, for the Youth Employment Strategy to give younger workers the best possible start in their careers.
“Budget 2017 was about jobs.
"We are working to create opportunities for lifelong learning so that the next job is also a better job,”Anthony RotaMP, Nipissing-Timiskamingsaid Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing –Timiskaming. “We will equip workers in Canada, and here in our riding, with the tools and skills they need to succeed in the economy of the future.”
The federal government, through FedNor, is also developing a targeted strategy for Northern Ontario focusing on prosperity and growth and leveraging the region’s unique strengths and competitive advantages in mining, resources and agriculture, among other sectors. Stakeholder consultations will take place this spring. As well, the regional development agency will receive $25 million in new funding over five years.
“Kudos to the federal government for addressing some of the most pressing labour market needs here in Northern Ontario through the 2017 federal budget,” said North Bay Mayor Al McDonald. “Local business is challenged on many fronts to find skilled workers and the 2017 federal budget recognizes this and puts people first.”
The North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce is also working to bring attention to job openings on a special Facebook page, North Bay and District Ontario Jobs. Anyone who knows of businesses in the region that are hiring can post the help wanted ads on the social media site.
Office of Anthony Rota