Guelph Ontario is a small city with a low crime rate and a strong university population. Notably, it also leads the country on the job creation front and has very low unemployment. According to the latest ranking of Canadian cities by BMO Nesbitt Burns, Guelph is in the top spot, with jobs growth of more than 9 per cent in December compared with a year earlier, an employment rate of 72 per cent that’s the best in the country, and a jobless level that is among the lowest and now down almost a full percentage point from late 2014.
Guelph tops a list released by BMO featuring robust job growth, population inflows, a modest 4.2-per-cent jobless rate and the highest share of the population that is employed.
The latest report from Statistics Canada indicates that the country created almost 23,000 new jobs in December, though unemployment held firm at 7.1 per cent. Ontario gained about 35,000 jobs, and its unemployment rate eased to 6.7 per cent.
Guelph with a population of 121,688, according to the last official census count, a few years ago, has a fairly diversified economy. The city is strong in life sciences, biotechnology and agriculture-related industries, with a big university presence, boosted by the Guelph–Wellington Business Enterprise Centre and Innovation Guelph.
The mayor of Guelph, Cam Guthrie sells businesses not only on the amenities one would find in major cities in Canada but also on “the small-town community feel and community spirit that is just difficult to find elsewhere.”
Major employers in the city include auto-parts maker Linamar, The Co-operators insurance group and RWDI, a wind and environmental engineering firm headquartered in Guelph that has plans to double its work force.
The mayor and his council are overseeing a 200-acre business park under development, with the first phase already serviced. Along with the efforts of the Guelph economic development department, there is a business retention team aimed at helping existing employers expand.
Guelph also has a new tourism strategy with a plan to bring 45,000 to 50,000 more visitors annually, by 2031. Hopefully this will translate into permanent relocations as construction projects are under way to house an estimated 9,000 in the downtown core. For newly arriving permanent residents, Guelph represents an excellent future with a wealth of opportunities that should not be overlooked.
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