LONDON, ONT. -- The resilient economy in the London region has fueled a rebounding job market, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But finding enough workers to fill new jobs remains a hurdle to economic growth.

The City of London, along with regional stakeholders from St. Thomas, Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin counties have commissioned a new research study, Labour Survey 2021, to better understand the labour market participation rate.

“It is my belief this research will provide a clear focus for the development of future strategies and programs related to increasing our labour pool,” says London Mayor Ed Holder.

Historically, the region has had one of the lowest labour market participation rates in Ontario, even during periods when job opportunities increase.

According to Debra Mountenay from the Workforce Planning and Development Board, “Employers will continue to be looking for workers, especially during this year as the local economy recovers.”

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the initial launch of this survey in 2020.

The survey focuses on engaging individuals aged 25 to 54 who are not currently working or seeking employment.

“This survey will give us an insight into why skilled individuals are not participating in the labour market and help us design policies and practices to engage the talents of our community’s workforce,” explains Jack Smit, Employment Strategies, Social Services for the City of London.

The survey will be conducted by telephone and online.