Labour Market Briefing – London Economic Region in August 2017

by Emilian Siman

 

The local labour market was calm during August of 2017. Minimal changes happened locally in August compared to July. Figure 1 shows this consistency in the local labour market for the past year: a slight population growth combined with monthly changes in the size of the labour force. 

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 1

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 282-0122

Figure 1

Underneath this warm general state of calm, a lot happened. The August estimates of the Labour Force Survey present a contraction of the local labour force by 1.84% in August relative to July of 2017 and by 3.14% relative to August 2016. Although these results do not signal a major change, they invite for more investigation into the causes of the decrease.

Figure 2 shows the change between part-time and full-time employment growth. Relative to the month of July 2017, both types of employment, part-time and full-time, had slightly reduced in August of 2017, by 5.22% and 1.14% respectively. However, in a year-to-year comparison (August 2016 vs. August 2017) the part-time employment increased by 7.99% while the full-time employment dropped by 3.97%.

The unemployment rate in August 2017 remained almost unchanged relative to the previous month, 5.7% relative to 5.6% respectively, and it dropped relative to August 2016, 5.7% versus 6.9% (see Figure 3). Unemployment didn’t change much between July and August of 2017, but it dropped by 4,900 people in August 2017 relative to the same month of the year 2016.

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 2

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 282-0122

Figure 2

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 3

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 282-0122

Figure 3

 

The participation rate decreased in August 2017 to 62.3% relative to 63.6% in July of 2017. Also, in a year-to-year monthly comparison, one would observe a reduction in the participation rate during August 2017 relative to August 2016, 62.3% versus 65% respectively. As presented in Figure 4, the employment rate exhibited a similar pattern behavior as the participation rate, revealing also a seasonal change.

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 4

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 282-0122

Figure 4

If looking at the changes in employment in various sectors of the local/regional economy, one would see that compared to July 2017, in August of the same year employment dropped in most of the sub-sectors except for: “Utilities,” “Wholesale and retail trade,” “Transportation and warehousing,” “Healthcare and social assistance,” “Information, culture and recreation,” and “Public Administration.”

In the “goods-producing” sector, in the year-to-year monthly comparison, in August 2017 the employment in “Agriculture” diminished by about 4,700 positions and employment in “Manufacturing” reduced by approximately 2,100 jobs relative to August 2016, see Table 1. Employment in “Construction” maintained leveled.

In the “services- producing” sector, in the same year-over comparison, the employment diminished by about 2,600 jobs. In some subsectors employment grew, for example, “Wholesale and retail trade” (5,600 positions), “Transportation and warehousing” (400 positions), “Professional, scientific and technical services” (3,700 positions), “Business, building and other support services” (2,800 positions), health and social assistance” (1,100 positions), and “Public administration” (1,100 jobs). Unfortunately, in other subsectors, the employment in the region diminished, considering the same time frame comparison. For example “Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing” (1,800 jobs), “Educational services”(3,100 jobs), “Information, culture and recreation” (4,900 jobs), “Accommodation and food services” (2,700 jobs) and “Other services (excepting public administration)” (4,700 jobs). This scattered picture reminds us about the uncertainty and volatility of business activity in general. Technological changes, increased productivity, the changed international trade landscape, and government economic incentives create new layers of uncertainty on top of the demographic challenge advanced by the transition to the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the transition into the labour force of the Y generation and iGeneration.

Table 1. Employment in the London Economic Region (x 1,000 people)

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Table 1

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 282-0124

 

Where and what kind of job vacancies were available during August 2017 in London Economic Region?

This is the question pertinent for most job seekers, employment counselors, students and the general public. Figure 5 shows that London presented a large number of available jobs (6,6867) in August 2017 relative to other locations in the London Economic Region. However, Woodstock, St. Thomas, Tillsonburg, Strathroy, Ingersoll and Aylmer also had diverse opportunities advertised for job seekers in the region and beyond. London remains the focal location for working opportunities in the economic region.

Among the job postings in the region, about 76% were full-time positions while around 24% were for part-time jobs (see Figure 6). These proportions contribute to the calming and stable labour market profile advanced earlier for the month of August 2017.

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 5

Note: The counts include “Staffing” and “Anonymous” postings

Source: Wanted Analytics, CEB TalentNeuron

Figure 5

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 6

Source: Wanted Analytics, CEB TalentNeuron

Figure 6

Moreover, 93% of job postings were for permanent positions while 7% were for temporary positions. This information also portrays a positive situation for the London Economic Region (Figure 7).

 

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 7

Source: Wanted Analytics, CEB TalentNeuron

Figure 7

The top three occupational groups providing work opportunities during August 2017 were: “Sales representatives and salespersons – wholesale and retail trade,” “Transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations,” and “Service representatives and other customer and personal services occupations,” see Figure 8.

 

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 8

Source: Wanted Analytics, CEB TalentNeuron

Figure 8

 

What sets of skills?

It is also important to understand what set of skills employers are looking for when hiring. Figures 9 and 10 help us understand what was in demand in August 2017. Figure 9 shows that about 1557 job postings mentioned “oral and written communication” among the skills/certifications list required for the job. Furthermore, about 1,183 postings identified “detailed oriented” whereas 734 postings recognized “team player” as sought-after soft skills.

Among the hard skills in demand, the top 3 were: “quality assurance,” “forklifts,” and “freight,” see Figure 10. Not to ignore the other hard skills that were slightly distanced from the top three.

 

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 9

Source: Wanted Analytics, CEB TalentNeuron

Figure 9

Labour Market Briefing - London Economic Region in August 2017 - Figure 10

Source: Wanted Analytics, CEB TalentNeuron

Figure 10

 

Who was making news locally during August?

East Park London will begin the construction work on a new wave pool this fall (ESDC,2017 August).

E & E McLaughlin Ltd. announced the development of the “Factory Indoor Adventure Park” within the old Kellogg’s cereal plant in London (ESDC, 2017 August).

In partnership with the Government of Ontario, Nova Steel Inc., in Woodstock invested in the expansion of its production operations, consequently creating new jobs (ESDC, 2017 August).

New construction has started on a 1.8 M waste management facility in Salford, Oxford County (ESDC, 2017 August).

Info-tech Research Group Inc. is renovating their new downtown London office, which is expected to be completed by early 2018 (ESDC, 2017 August).

Start Communications is revitalizing a vacant industrial site at York and Adelaide streets responding to its rapid growth (Stacey, 2017 August).

 

References

ESDC (2017, August). Jobbank Canada. Job Market News and Trends. Retrieved from https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/

 

Stacey, M. (2017, August). Start Communications: London company running out of elbow room seeking zone change to grow. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.lfpress.com/2017/08/28/start-communications-london-company-ru...

 

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