A slight uptick in the local unemployment numbers doesn’t faze the municipality’s acting director of economic development.
The statistics indicated the jobless rate in January in Chatham-Kent crept up by 0.4 percent to 6.4 per cent, the provincial average.
Stuart McFadden said he sees nothing but positives out of that number.
“I look at the number of employed people,” he said. “We had about 1,900 more people working this January compared to the same time last year. Local employers are still looking to fill positions. In January of this year we had 49,400 people working compared to 47,500 in January of 2016. Our rate went from nine per cent then to 6.4 this year, so there is still positive job activity happening throughout Chatham-Kent.””
He said the difficulty in hiring isn’t an isolated reality.
“Every sector is finding it difficult to fill specific jobs,” McFadden said.
McFadden added the first three months of a year can see our unemployment numbers shift upward, given the large number of seasonal jobs in the area.
He added he thinks 2017 will be a memorable one for Chatham-Kent in terms of economic development and employment.
“We’re in a good place this year relative to last,” he said. “I’m confident we’ll have a good year if everything stays the course.