Summer jobs outlook looks rosy

Despite the economic situation south of the 49th parallel and the high currency, an economist says summer jobs for youth will not be a problem in the GTA.

Youngsters across the GTA eagerly waiting for summer holidays in order to earn some loot can breathe a sigh of relief.

Finn Poschmann, research director at the CD Howe Institute, says the Canadian economy, particularly the Ontario economy, has been doing quite well in the past few years.

“It is at historical highs,” Poschmann said.

One agency, Youth Employment Services (aka YES), has set its job-bar higher this summer.

Jayne Simpson, a co-ordinator at YES said, there were 700 jobs available last summer and the agency is working towards increasing that number this summer.

“Our target for this year is to exceed that (700),” Simpson said.

Simpson also said she hopes to exceed the target despite what is happening with the economy.

Finn Poschmann acknowledged tourism as one sector of the economy which is not in good shape and speculates the hiring to be weak in this sector.

“I would expect the hiring probably won’t be strong this year as last,” Poschmann said.

But Ontario Place, a tourist attraction and one of the leading seasonal employers of the city, has already employed 400 people and has no plans of changing its hiring habits.

Yves Deschenes, director of Human Resource at Ontario Place, says the company will be hiring the same number of people this summer.

And the number, according Deschenes is between 550 and 600 jobs.

Poschmann explained that the tourism industry will feel the hit due to a decline in the number of Americans travelling to Canada. And the cause of the decline is strong Canadian currency, and economic slowdown in the United States.

Although Ontario Place falls under the category of tourism, this philosophy doesn’t apply to it because most of the visitors are Torontonians.

“Many of our guests are actually from the GTA and it’s not an issue of the US and Canadian dollar,” Deschenes said.