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Canada's Worst City To Find A Job? Kelowna, B.C., BMO Data Indicates

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Last month we reported that Guelph, Ont., is the best city in Canada to find a job. But what about the worst city?

Right now, that unwelcome honour belongs to Kelowna. In the space of a single year, the city in British Columbia's interior has gone from being one of the best cities in Canada to find a job, to one of the worst. The city of 117,000 fell 31 spots in BMO’s labour market report card — out of 33 spots altogether. (See below for the 10 worst cities in Canada to find a job.)

Kelowna’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.6 per cent in January, up from 3 per cent a year earlier. While its population grew 1.7 per cent over the last year, the number of jobs fell 2.2 per cent.

Many of the other cities that have seen the worst deterioration in their labour markets are in Ontario, which is unexpected because Ontario and B.C. currently lead the country on job growth. They were the only two provinces to record any gains in the latest monthly report from StatsCan.

But it goes to show that the oil price collapse is having very specific and varied effects on Canada’s municipalities. BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic notes that Ontario and B.C. have seen their jobless rates rise over the past year, but only because more people are entering the workforce.

“Don’t let the sticky jobless rates fool you — these are the two strongest markets in Canada, and it’s not really even close,” he wrote.

So leave Kelowna or Peterborough, perhaps — but stay in the province! Here are the worst cities in Canada to find a job, at the moment.

Note: This lists the city with the fastest deterioration on BMO's list — this is not the list itself, which can be found here. While Sudbury is at the bottom of the list (33rd out of 33), it doesn't appear on this list because conditions haven't deteriorated there over the past year like they have in the cities below.

Worst: Kelowna, B.C.


kelowna british columbia
Down 31 spots on BMO ranking, to 32nd place.
Number of jobs down 2.2% in a year.
Jobless rate: 7.6%

2nd Worst: Peterborough, Ont.


peterborough ontario
Down 24 spots on BMO ranking, to 27th place.
Number of jobs down 4.1% in a year.
Jobless rate: 6.7%

3rd worst: Calgary, Alta.


calgary panorama
Down 19 spots on BMO ranking, to 23rd place.
Number of jobs down 2.3% in a year.
Jobless rate: 7.7%

4th Worst: St. John’s, Nfld.


st johns newfoundland
Down 14 spots on BMO ranking, to 25th place.
Number of jobs down 4.3% in a year.
Jobless rate: 6.7%

5th Worst: Kitchener, Ont.


kitchener ontario
Down 12 spots on BMO ranking, to 21st place.
Number of jobs down 3% in year.
Jobless rate: 6.5%

6th Worst: Sudbury, Ont.


sudbury ontario
Down 11 spots on BMO ranking, to 33rd place.
Number of jobs down 7% in a year.
Jobless rate: 8.6%

7th Worst: Barrie, Ont.


barrie ontario
Down 9 spots on BMO ranking, to 19th place.
Number of jobs down 3% in a year.
Jobless rate: 6.4%

8th Worst: Saskatoon, Sask.


saskatoon
Down 7 spots on BMO ranking, to 12th place.
Number of jobs down 0.3% in a year.
Jobless rate: 6.1%

9th Worst: Brantford, Ont.


brantford ontario
Down 6 spots on BMO ranking, to 20th place.
Number of jobs down 3.5% in a year.
Jobless rate: 5.8%

10th Worst: Halifax, N.S.


halifax nova scotia
Down 5 spots on BMO ranking, to 17th place.
Number of jobs down 1.8% in a year.
Jobless rate: 6.5%

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