Concerns about Toronto job numbers but experts waiting for more data

Unemployment rate hit 10.1 percent last month in Toronto

It was a number that got a lot of attention but experts say it doesn't paint a complete picture.

The unemployment rate in Toronto last month stood at 10.1 percent, up from 7.1 percent back in August.

It was enough for Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak to say that he was "worried" about the situation in Toronto during an interview with the Motts (airing this weekend on Newstalk 1010) although those crunching the numbers say it's important to see how the unemployment trend plays out over a number of months before we can catch a true snapshot of the situation.

When asked about the jobs numbers this week, Mayor Rob Ford said Toronto was "booming."

 "I think it's a number we have to look at very carefully," says Manager of Research in the city's department of Strategic Growth and Research Peter Viducis. "But at this point we don't have enough monthly data to say for sure that this is not a statistically (anomaly)."

"Clearly we have seen a little bit of weakness in recent months," said TD economist Jonathan Bendiner on the Jerry Agar Show. "If you look on a trend overall basis we have seen strong employment growth in Toronto and the unemployment rate has come down slightly.

Looking at annual averages, Toronto gained almost 35,000 jobs from 2012 to 2013 and the overall unemployment rate fell.

Since 2010 Toronto has seen an increase of about 57, 000 jobs.

From 2010 to 2013 the city has seen an increase of about 19,000 jobs related to goods producing and gains of about 3,000 from 2012 to 2013.

There were also gains from 2012 to 2013 in construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing,  real estate, as well as health care and social assistance.

Manufacturing saw job losses of 6.5 percent, but overall the sector has seen an increase of 7.5 percent since 2010.

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  1. DW posted on 01/16/2014 12:32 AM
    Toronto unemployment rate is also way above the Ontario average

    Who do Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton not have at the helm at City Hall?

    Maybe they elect competent types............................10.1% is testimony to all the time spent in service station washrooms, behind the bushes in parking lots and walking along dark suburban streets with "prominent citizens"
  2. Karl Burgin posted on 01/16/2014 09:30 AM
    Aside from DW's cynical answer, a more probable explanation which I heard that sounds more plausible:
    People are losing jobs around the province (courtesy of your Liberal government). When people lose jobs, they tend to move to the big cities to either find employment, or get social assistance. The closing down of the Kellogs and Heinz factories are evidence of this. When people lose jobs in small cities, they don't go to other small cities hoping to find a job. They go to the bigger metropolitan areas- there will be a greater chance of success, of them finding work.
    And in the province of Ontario, where do you think the biggest city is.....
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