Human Capital Series Part 3/3

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Northwest, This One’s For You!

August 29, 2019

The final reports from the UPDATED Northern Projections: Human Capital Series
have been released. These reports explore demographic and labour market trends as well as
projections into the future of Northeastern Ontario, specifically in the districts of Kenora, Thunder
Bay and Rainy River.

Here are some key recommendations from the reports:

  1. Continue to invest in the Indigenous population
    The projections indicate a need to promote and improve education among Indigenous
    peoples. For example, 60 per cent of Indigenous men and 57.3 per cent of Indigenous women
    in the Kenora District are participating in the labour market, and less than half are employed. In the Thunder Bay District, Indigenous people have lower educational levels when comparing to the average for Indigenous people in Ontario. Addressing issues concerning employment and the need to promote and improve education among indigenous peoples, become pertinent for local labour market and economic growth.

  2. Foster female, youth and newcomer participation in the labour force
    Rainy River district has experienced an upward trend in the net migration in every age group other than 65+. The district should continue to build on this positive momentum, in order to combat the declining labour force and ageing population in the coming years.
    On the other hand, Thunder Bay’s population and labour force are shrinking and aging. The
    district has seen many people move away, and very few move in. The Kenora district’s
    population cohort 65 years and over is projected to grow significantly in the coming years.

    As a result, Thunder Bay and Kenora districts should focus on newcomer attraction in order to restore sustainable ratios of workers to dependents. In addition, the district should develop youth retention strategies that will stem the tide of youth outmigration.

    “According to the data men have higher participation and employment rates compared to
    women in different target groups (total population, Francophones, immigrants, and
    indigenous population) from 2011 to 2016. This is why encouraging more females to join the
    labour market will be key to increasing the labour market size and variety in Thunder Bay
    District. I’m happy to see that participation and employment rates of women has increased
    from 2001 to 2016.” – Madge Richardson, Executive Director at Local Employment Planning
    Council

  3. Need for infrastructure
    As the data has shown, in the Rainy River and Kenora Districts, unemployment rates are the
    highest in remote areas. Providing accessible education, especially postsecondary
    education, will be an essential move to expand the labour force. Investments in high speed
    internet access and other infrastructure like roads, rail, port and airports would not only assure access to the global economy, but also contribute to higher human capital indices for the population as they are more likely to achieve better health and education outcomes.

Read the three reports in full.


Media Interviews

Author Dr. Moazzami and NPI President & CEO Charles Cirtwill are available for comment. To arrange an interview, please contact:

Evelynn Hoffman
Communications Officer
705-806-3464
ehoffman@northernpolicy.ca

About Northern Policy Institute

Northern Policy Institute is Northern Ontario’s independent think tank. We perform research,
collect and disseminate evidence, and identify policy opportunities to support the growth of
sustainable Northern communities. Our operations are located in Thunder Bay and Sudbury.
We seek to enhance Northern Ontario’s capacity to take the lead position on socioeconomic policy that impacts Northern Ontario, Ontario, and Canada as a whole.

About the Author

Dr. Moazzami has taught Economics and Econometrics at Lakehead University since 1988. He
is well known for his research activities particularly related to Northern Ontario. He has written
many reports on Northern Ontario’s economic development challenges and opportunities.
He was commissioned by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to undertake a
comprehensive study of Northern Ontario’s economy as a part of the research conducted
for the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. Included in the study were the identification of
growing, declining and emerging industrial clusters in the region. Professor Moazzami has also
written extensively on Northern Ontario’s Aboriginal people and Northern Aboriginal
economy. Dr. Moazzami’s expertise and influence reaches beyond Lakehead University and
Northern Ontario. He has been a regular guest speaker at the University of Waterloo’s
Economic Development Program.

About the Series

Northern Projections: Human Capital Series highlights all of the 11 districts in Northern Ontario,
and is part of an ongoing, collaborative effort between the Northern Policy Institute and
Northern Ontario Workforce Planning Boards to provide evidenced based analysis for
effective decision making in the region. Reports will examine past and present characteristics
and trends in each district’s economy in order to forecast future challenges and
opportunities.

Project Partners

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