City hopes to show job creation promise being kept
London's unemployment rate continued to fall for a second straight month, but since last May the London region's labour market has shrunk by 8,400 people.
"It is a bit discouraging. I feel like I'm less. There are people who are working and busy. I'm just here trying to get busy," says Londoner Tim Rowe, who applied for employment insurance benefits Friday.
According to Statistics Canada, London’s unemployment rate fell from eight per cent in April to 7.7 per cent in May.
Three and a half years go city council made job creation its number one priority, but recent job numbers give a mixed review of their accomplishments.
The investment and economic prosperity committee is in charge of job creation at city hall, but a quick look at some of their recent agendas suggests they haven't had a lot to talk about.
Since April 14, the committee has only received eight reports for consideration and the three meetings have run 31 minutes, an hour and a quarter and an hour and 51 minutes, respectively.
Monday's agenda has only two reports.
But committee chair Joe Swan sees the reduction in workload another way.
"Well its a fair question. We did have 49 projects that we analysed; we picked five. By June 24, we want completion on those five projects," he says.
Swan believes the committee is wrapping up its role in projects, including the industrial land strategy, redeveloping the hydro lands and building a performing arts centre.
He expects big things by the end of the month at the investment and economic prosperity committee meeting, that he hopes will show the fruits of three and a half years' labour.
Across Ontario, unemployment fell by a smaller margin, from 7.4 per cent to 7.3 per cent.
Canada's national unemployment rate was 7.0 per cent in May.
Statistics Canada says the country's economy created about 25,800 net new jobs last month, although all of them were part-time and the unemployment rate still edged up 0.1 per cent to seven per cent as more Canadians went looking for work.
With files from The Canadian Press.