Employment Fact Sheets Useful but More Detail Would Be Better

Date: September 4, 2014

This commentary is about the Focus on Rural Ontario fact sheets concerning Employment and is provided by Bonnie O'Neill, Executive Administrator of the Ontario East Economic Development Commission.

Economic Development professionals in Ontario East find these fact sheets to be most helpful in seeing trends in economic growth for the region. This information can provide a validation or comparison with other statistics and numbers from other sources or being used by site selectors. The comparison to the broader Ontario data and information is valuable in environmental scans completed both regionally and municipally. However, the challenge that communities and municipalities have in Eastern Ontario with labour force data is that the monthly statistics are only available for the large geographies known as “economic regions” or Census metropolitan areas. These regions cover broad and diverse economies and not necessarily useful for those working at the local, county or other regional levels.

In discussing this with a few of the municipal EDO’s in Eastern Ontario, their comments were that while they enjoy getting the information, they use the numbers with caution, and tend not to share it broadly as they find that this causes questioning because the numbers may be different (due to different definitions and geographies) from other sources. If work force planning agencies and provincial and federal government could find a way to give us access to better labour market information that would likely be more useful.