Ontario job growth held steady in December; third-quarter growth up one per cent | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Ontario job growth held steady in December; third-quarter growth up one per cent

January 09, 2015 - 10:36 AM

TORONTO - There was little change in Ontario's employment numbers for December, with the unemployment rate holding steady at seven per cent, still above the national average.

"It was more of a pause, tread water kind of month, with not a lot of change, said Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid.

The net number of jobs in Ontario fell by 3,500 last month, but full-time jobs were up by 3,200, added Duguid. Since September, Ontario has added 25,000 net new jobs, he said.

"The trends appear to be in the right direction," said Duguid. "We're not suggesting or predicting that we're going to see an economic boom in 2015, but we're expecting good, sustained growth."

However, the Opposition said the Liberal government was directly to blame for the fact Ontario's unemployment rate remains above the national average of 6.6 per cent.

"Their current record, and the trend that has existed now for the last eight years where we're lagging behind the national average 95 months out of 96, clearly indicates that the jobs record of this government is one of their most significant, abject failures," said Progressive Conservative critic Ted Arnott.

The Liberal's policies are not helping create jobs in Ontario, said NDP critic Wayne Gates.

"Families will continue to face tough times and struggle to make ends meet," he said. "That's what Kathleen Wynne's austerity plan means for Ontario."

There was positive news in the province's third-quarter economic results released Friday, which showed gross domestic product rose by one per cent from July to September, or an annualized rate of four per cent.

Exports gained three per cent, the strongest quarterly growth since 2011, and imports were also up one per cent in the third quarter after rising 2.3 per cent in the second quarter.

"We had the best quarter that we've had in three years in terms of exports," Premier Kathleen Wynne said at an Ottawa news conference. "That's a very good trajectory for us to be on."

The lower dollar and falling oil and gas prices helped Ontario's economy, especially the struggling manufacturing sector, said Duguid, but the province knows it can't rely on those factors to increase growth and create jobs.

"There's no question that some of those commodity prices are good for us, at least for the short term, but let's not count on them," he said. "Let's build a strong, sustainable economy."

The finance ministry said the strong third quarter gain was led by higher household and business spending along with "robust" export growth.

There was a 3.9 per cent rise in durable goods spending, including a solid seven per cent increase in automobile sales in the third quarter.

Business investment in machinery and equipment also rose 2.5 per cent for its third consecutive quarterly gain.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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