There's a 'London Job Crisis,' but it's not what you think: report
A city task force report has found London has a problem, not with creating jobs, but trying to fill them with qualified candidates.
The report found that despite an almost historic low unemployment rate, the city's employment rate is the worst in Canada.
London Chamber of Commerce general manager and task force member, Gerry McCartney, said in a statement, "I am afraid we have arrived at a point in time where celebrating a drop or two in the unemployment rate is not worth celebrating at all when measured against one of the lowest participation rates in the country. It’s time to act.”
The city's workforce has reportedly declined by 10,000 people in the last year, despite 8,695 job openings in the region, according to Statistics Canada.
As to the cause of the problem, the report finds it is partly due to the area hosting a higher number of people not available to work due to studies or a serious mental or physical health issue.
The other major factor is the 'hidden unemployed' - those available to work who haven't recently searched for a job - possibly due to a lack of reliable public transit to industrial areas and/or a lack of effective engagement by the city.
The report recommends the city find ways to better connect job seekers with employers, improve bus service to help fill jobs in London's industrial areas and properly fund communication plans.
“London has many priorities, but nothing is more important than filling our current job openings," said Mayor Ed Holder in a statement. "The Task Force has laid out a path, it’s time to get the job done.”