In November, the local employment level reached 41,400, slightly higher than it was in 2008 (40,100) before the onset of the global economic meltdown. Also impressive, Sault Ste. Marie’s unemployment rate measured in at 4.8% for the month. These are the findings of a recently-released labour force survey from Statistics Canada.
Other indicators and projections are promising as well. Last month, the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s credit rating was upgraded from A+ Stable to A+ Positive by Standard & Poor’s. The improved ranking was based on the Municipality’s solid financial position – particularly its low debt burden – along with a positive outlook for the local economy. Meanwhile, earlier this year, a report from the Conference Board of Canada indicated that the Sault’s gross domestic product is expected to rise by 1.1% in 2015.
“Our economy is trending in the right direction,” said Tom Dodds, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “We have challenges ahead, but our community appears to be holding its own and then some. With a number of large-scale initiatives in the works, including the Port of Algoma and downtown redevelopment projects, we’re confident that our economy will continue to grow in the years to come.”
For the Sault’s labour force statistics, a more comprehensive analysis shows considerable promise as well. In November, for instance, the year-to-date average for the local employment level was 39,888. Considering the level was 34,300 in 2012 and 37,100 in 2013, the trend is positive.