Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nanaimo Unemployment Rates Aug. 2011

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Nanaimo Has Dubious Honor
Unemployment Capital Of British Columbia

The unemployment stats are in again, and once more Nanaimo's unemployment rate is alarming sitting at 12.3% compared with 8.6% just one year ago.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of this current trend which has seen double digit unemployment in Nanaimo since Feb. of this year, is the lack of any serious response from any level of government. This likely speaks to a complete lack of any real understanding of the problem and how to deal with it in any tangible way.

The current city council has established the Economic Development Corporation, but any positive results they will produce will take years to show any substantial changes in the local economy. If you have been watching the economic saga around the globe, you will realize that the economy and employment is a realm filled with much theory and conjecture which no one clearly understands, nor directs with any certainty.

Recently the parliamentary secretary to the Premier was in town addressing captains of local industry and among some of his suggestions was that young people consider moving to places where their employment prospects are brighter. While that is a practical solution for anyone needing a job, it does little to address the cause of the unemployment in Nanaimo.

Contacts with our local MLA and MP have shed little light on the matter, and clearly neither level of government have any specific plans to address the continuing malaise in the local economy.

The Nanaimo economy is very much dependent upon public sector jobs with the school district, health authority, Regional District and City Hall providing the lion's share of the payroll that greases the local wheels of commerce. One of the problems which Nanaimo seems to face is a lack of identity. Are we a tourist destination? Are we an industrial centre? Are we a regional shopping centre? Are we a retirement centre? Do we have what it takes to attract and keep young families?

As is the case with many issues facing our fair city, it is far easier to identify the problems than it is to come up with a solution.

allvoices

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