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Canada’s best cities for job seekers

Canada’s best cities for job seekers

Canada’s largest cities are non-surprisingly doing a steadily good job of attracting new companies and new jobs, to which moving companies Burlington, Ontario can attest to. However, they are lately being surpassed by their smaller neighbors. The Bank of Montreal’s job market report card for the last quarter of 2018 states that Canada’s four largest metros — Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary — have been declining in their rankings. They may still remain Canada’s best cities for job seekers, but the smaller cities have upped their game.

At the top of the list stands Guelph, Ont. Which may, in fact, come as a surprise, as it is a relatively small city southwest of Toronto. It has an astounding 2.3-per-cent unemployment rate. A great number of southern Ontario cities are also taking advantage after the “spillover” of Toronto’s economic boom. Some of those Canada’s best cities for job seekers are Kitchener-Waterloo, London, and Peterborough. The similar pattern is also playing out in British Columbia, where some towns in the interior benefit from the “spillover” from Vancouver.

Night photo of Toronto which remains one of Canada’s best cities for job seekers
It’s not that Canada’s largest cities are doing badly on jobs; dig into the numbers and they’re still strong. It’s just that these smaller cities have put in a better performance recently.

Canada’s best cities for job seekers have made it into the top 10 list thanks to the convergence

One admirable thing these days in Canada is how homogeneous the regional job markets look. Ordinarily, the story was that one main or just a couple of regions were doing well while others struggled. But that’s not the case in Canada’s best cities for job seekers these days. Convergence has developed quite a theme in this market where reliable Dundas movers conduct their business. Alberta and Atlantic Canada have seen steady growth, though a rather unspectacular on. In reality, no province is seeing job growth higher than 1.9 percent year after year. And, at the same time, all the provinces are looking at job declines not worse than 1.4 percent — which is, in fact, a tight range.

Job quality is improving

All of Canada’s best cities for job seekers have seen growth over the past year in full-time work, while the part-time job market has been slow. In many parts of the country, part-time work declined but full-time work increased, which is a sign that employers are turning precarious jobs into quality positions. So then you should take advantage of this trend. As history has shown us, nothing lasts forever.

Here are the 10 best of Canada’s best cities for job seekers, according to BMO’s labor market report card.

10. London, Ont.

  • Jobless rate: 5%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 3.2% 
  • Ranking a year ago 23 

London is switching from being a manufacturing economy to a high-tech environment. Additionally, automobile plants and other factories still have prominent numbers. A declining Canadian dollar in the past few years has helped those businesses export more. If you were still undecided between living in the city or the in the suburbs, this town will change your mind. Finally, the construction industry has been busy, thanks to steady population growth.

9. Oshawa, Ont.

  • Jobless rate: 5.8%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 4.9%
  • Ranking a year ago 28 

Yes, even though this city has just lost its famed General Motors assembly plant, it has made the list of Canada’s best cities for job seekers. The General Motors assembly factory shutdown will without a doubt damage the job market. Oshawa’s higher-education institutions, a network of health care facilities and a growing home construction industry will all be doing the heavy lifting in the job growth department. The city is also very well positioned in Canada so that it can withstand the closure of GM at the end of 2019.

Oshawa, Ontario courthouse
Oshawa can still rely on three higher-education institutions, a network of health care facilities and a growing home construction industry.

8. Edmonton

  • Jobless rate: 6.3%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 3.6%
  • Ranking a year ago 13 

Edmonton’s job market has seen more growth than Calgary’s in recent years. The main reason for this is that its economy is less directly dependent on oil. Health care, education, and public administration are main employers in Edmonton, but the recent abrupt changes in oil prices probably won’t spare the city completely. Its manufacturing and warehousing businesses still require oil and gas.

7. Peterborough, Ont.

  • Jobless rate: 5.2%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 7.8% 
  • Ranking a year ago 20 

Peterborough once had a thriving manufacturing base. And though it is long past its prime, some of that strong base still remains. Today, its biggest employers are Peterborough’s health care and education institutions. Even tourism has been somewhat prominent. The city is actually becoming a “bedroom suburb” for people commuting from Greater Toronto.

6. Abbotsford, B.C.

  • Jobless rate: 4.5%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 4.3%
  • Ranking a year ago 17 

Though Abbotsford is somewhat dependant on Greater Vancouver, it still has an economy of its own. It has a presence in lumber, aerospace and the film and TV industry as well. This town has also experienced a housing boom that may or may not be on its last legs now.

5. Halifax

  • Jobless rate: 5.7% 
  • Year-over-year job growth: 5.1% 
  • Ranking a year ago 26 

Halifax’s economy has benefited from shipbuilding contracts for the Canadian Navy. But in addition to this, it is also developing into a tech and startup hub. Entrepreneurs have been relocating from Hamilton to Halifax because of its affordable living costs, proximity to the beaches and lack of crazy traffic jams.

4. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.

  • Jobless rate: 5.1%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 4.8%
  • Ranking a year ago 16 

Kitchener-Waterloo has been one of Canada’s best cities for job seekers because it has persisted as one most important tech hubs for years. Also, in recent years, it has become a popular destination for people from Toronto who want to start-up businesses in a more affordable housing market.

3. Kelowna, B.C.

  • Jobless rate: 3.3%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 0.4%
  • Ranking a year ago 2

Like some other Ontario cities on our Canada’s best cities for job seekers list, the B.C. province has benefitted from the Vancouver booming economy. Kelowna’s economy has also experienced growth in the tech sector of 15 percent per year.

2. Saskatoon

  • Jobless rate: 5.6%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 5.4%
  • Ranking a year ago 22 

Lately, Saskatoon’s economy has been diminished by volatility in the oil and gas sector, but its manufacturing persevered nicely. That, combined with good and stable population growth, has added 5.4 percent new jobs in just the last year.

1. Guelph, Ont.

  • Jobless rate: 2.3%
  • Year-over-year job growth: 0.8%
  • Ranking a year ago 21

Guelph has had a very busy manufacturing sector in recent years, and an influx of new residents. Usually, those are Torontonians looking for more affordable housing. That has sent the city’s economy into overdrive, scoring a 2.3-per-cent unemployment rate, the lowest in the country!

Toronto skyline on a stormy day
What these statistics don’t tell us exactly is what the future holds for these type of jobs that are on the market.

We see that Canada’s best cities for job seekers have had a rise of uncertain work, even among professionals, but employers have been transforming them into regular jobs as well. So, benefit from this convergence now and happy job-hunting in Canada!

 

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