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Sudbury’s economy thriving: 4,000 new jobs expected, says BMO report

Sudbury’s economy thriving: 4,000 new jobs expected, says BMO report

NOCN staff writer

The next four years will bring 4,000 new jobs to Sudbury, according report released May 31 by BMO Capital Markets Economics.

“BMO’s latest economic snapshot on Greater Sudbury shows us that our economy is still going strong and will for the next few years to come,” says Sudbury mayor Marianne Matichuk. “With an estimated 4,000 new jobs projected by the end of 2016, this is great news for our residents.”

“Businesses in Sudbury are driving forward with plans to invest in their operations, in new equipment, in expansion and in hiring people,” said Steve DeMarco, commercial banking area manager, central northern Ontario district, BMO Bank of Montreal. “They are looking for capital to expand and create jobs; they are looking for a degree of certainty that funds will be available when they need them.

“I believe that BMO’s commitment to make $10 billion in credit available for businesses in Canada over the next few years can make a big difference to companies looking to invest across the region,” DeMarco said in a news release. “My roots run deep in Greater Sudbury and I am excited for what lies ahead.”

“BMO’s economic report on Greater Sudbury serves as confirmation to what many in our community are seeing – a city that’s on the move,” said Debbi Nicholson, president and CEO of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. “Our resource-based industries and their supply and services sector are leading this boom; the ripple effect of this economic activity is already being felt and will continue to have a positive impact on our economy. We anticipate a rosy outlook for several years to come.”

“Employment in Sudbury has recouped all of the declines suffered during the recession,” said BMO capital markets economist Robert Kavcic. “The city’s small labour pool makes statistics like the jobless rate volatile, but the underlying trend is clearly improving. Even at 7.2 per cent, Sudbury’s jobless rate remains below that for all of Ontario, a feat recently achieved in 2007, and a stark turnaround from about 15 years of a consistently-high local unemployment rate. Surging commodity prices and their positive impact on mining have been a major driver of the relative improvement.

“Looking out over the medium term, Sudbury’s unemployment rate should drift down toward six per cent by 2016, about half a percentage point below the Ontario average and back near the pre-recession lows,” Kavcic said.

Resource sector

— Rising base metal prices and demand over the past decade has been a boon
for the key mining sector.
— Nearly 10 per cent of Sudbury’s workforce is directly employed in the
mining sector, with the impact much larger when considering related
manufacturing and service activities.
— Recent announcements point to continued growth in the sector going
forward. Vale is in the midst of a five-year, $10 billion, investment in
its Canadian operations, and Cliffs Natural Resources recently announced
it will spend more than $3 billion to mine chromite – a key ingredient
in stainless steel – in Northern Ontario’s ‘Ring of Fire’. The company
will build a processing facility near Sudbury, costing almost $2 billion
and expected to add 450 construction jobs, and ultimately 450 permanent
jobs, when in operation.

Population Growth

— Population growth has slowed to slightly above zero in recent months,
but the performance in recent years has been historically strong.
— The city has enjoyed positive population growth in each of the past 10
years, after a prolonged stretch of outright declines during much of the

Real Estate

— Housing demand has been firm in recent years, spurred by positive
population growth. As a result, housing starts totalled nearly 600 units
in the latest twelve months, near the highest level in 17 years.
— The resale housing market is also strong, with existing sales up 14.1
per cent year-over-year in the 12 months through April, pushing average
prices to a record level of more than $240,000. Still, affordability
remains relatively attractive in the city, with prices averaging
slightly more than three times the estimated median family income, miles
below valuations currently seen in Ontario’s bigger cities.

The full report is available upon request.

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