Population, youth employment stats show more opportunities needed in the north

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SAULT STE. MARIE – New numbers from Statistics Canada show Sault Ste. Marie lost nearly 1,200 residents between the ages of 18 and 25 during the five year period between 2007 and 2012, and about 2,000 residents total.

And this month’s Labour Force Survey shows the youth unemployment rate in Ontario has risen again, up 2.1 per cent compared to this month last year.

“These numbers highlight what residents of the Soo already know,” said Ontario NDP Finance Critic John Vanthof. “The north has been ignored for far too long, and opportunities – especially for young people – are being lost.

“Sault Ste. Marie and northern communities need an economic development partner in the provincial government and an MPP ready to fight for northern jobs and training opportunities – especially for young people,” continued Vanthof.  “Bill 64, the NDP’s plan to massively increase work-integrated learning opportunities is a great first step in addressing youth unemployment, and we’ll continue to push for that when MPPs return to Queen’s Park next week.”

Statistics Canada’s Census data was released this week, and includes updated population numbers for Canadian communities. The Statistics Labour Force Survey for January was released Friday.