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New study shows major job and income challenges for Kawartha Lakes
The greatest number of job postings available during this time span were low-paying, low-skill jobs, mostly related to sales and service occupations.

New study shows major job and income challenges for City of Kawartha Lakes

in Business/Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

Individual income from employment is a full 22 per cent below the provincial average in Kawartha Lakes, according to the first ever Community Labour Market Plan.

As well, the average income in City of Kawartha Lakes was $37,242 in 2016 — an increase of just $369 per year since 2010, despite the rapid rise in costs associated with housing, food, utilities and other inflationary pressures that far outweighs the minor gain.

The new study shows the unemployment rate in the city of Kawartha Lakes – 7.7 per cent — is also much higher than the national average of 4.1 per cent, according to the 2016 census data. As well, the total labour force for the region has dropped three per cent from 2011.

This first-ever report of its kind for the region was produced by the Workforce Development Board (WDB) under the Local Employment Planning Council (LEPC) pilot project. The report covers employment aspects related to Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, Peterborough County and Haliburton County.

The WDB consulted with over 200 employers, community stakeholders, job seekers, employees, and employment service providers to acquire the data. As part of its efforts the WDB also analyzed the area job postings from January 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017 and of out of the 16,324 job postings in all four regional areas, 2,889 (17.7 per cent) were in Kawartha Lakes.

The greatest number of job postings available during this time span were low-paying, low-skill jobs, mostly related to sales and service occupations (29 per cent). This was followed by trades, transport and equipment operators (9.1 per cent). Sales and account representatives are projected by the Community Labour Market Plan to grow by 27 per cent through 2024, but these also continue to be low paying jobs for the most part.

Overall the job categories and corresponding median hourly wages found in the job search indicated the following:

  • 93 Cooks – $11.52
  • 86 Other customer and information services representatives – $17.74
  • 73 Retail salespersons – $12.24
  • 59 Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities – $13.82
  • 51 Sales and account representatives – wholesale trade (non-technical and most supervisory positions) – $24.99.
  • 50 Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations – $15.91
  • 49 Cashiers – $10.83
  • 46 Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations – $10.61
  • 39 Transport truck drivers – $18.29
  • 38 Material handlers – $16.32

The report also highlighted some projected occupational growth areas for Kawartha Lakes from 2017 to 2024.

  • Sales and account representatives – 27 per cent increase
  • Transport truck drivers – 18 per cent increase
  • Carpenters – 39 per cent increase
  • Managers in agriculture – 13 per cent increase
  • Elementary school and kindergarten teachers – 5 per cent increase
  • Social and community service workers – 33 per cent increase
  • Nurses’ aides, orderlies and patient service associates – 21 per cent increase

The report also mentions educational attainment as a factor. It also covers various recommendations and growth areas for Kawartha Lakes.

–More to come.

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Joli Scheidler-Benns is a PhD candidate in Health Policy and Equity at York University. She is a sessional professor for UOIT's Faculty of Education. She serves in a Research, Strategy, and Community Development role for The Lindsay Advocate while also serving as a Writer-at-Large.

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