City job market ranks among worst

Data conducted by a UK job search site places Kingston 44 out of 50 Canadian cities for availability of jobs

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Job search site Adzuna has released a report ranking Kingston as one of the most difficult cities to find employment in Canada.

The United Kingdom-based site has Kingston placed 44 out of 50 Canadian cities that were ranked based on number of job seekers per online job listing.

On average, Kingston had 16.7 people seeking a job per listing. The average salary in Kingston was $50,013.

The top five cities in the ranking were all from Alberta, with Grande Prairie topping the ranking with 1.38 job seekers per listing. Toronto placed 10 out of 50, the highest ranked city in Ontario.

Cathy Keates, director of Queen’s Career Services said the methodology of Adzuna’s doesn’t give a complete picture of the employment climate in Kingston.

“I’m not sure that number of applicants to posted jobs necessarily indicates how difficult a particular labour market is,” she said. “It’s so much more complex than that.” She said the accessibility of jobs within a city is based on the kind of job a person is searching for.

“The whole premise of the article is challenging,” she said.

“What the job search is going to look like for any individual is very much based on the kind of work they’re looking for. And that differs person to person,” she said.

Keates said many jobs are found through networking, and these jobs may not necessarily be posted online.

She said Career Services helps students find these networks through fairs such as the Live and Work in Kingston career fair.

Seventy different businesses attended the most recent fair on Feb. 11, including Kingston General Hospital, Sun Life and INVISTA Company.

According to Keates, Career Services helps students to discover and market their strengths.

It also helps students research the fields they’re interested in.

“I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily difficult to find employment, but it is a lot of work,” she said. “It takes time to sort out who you are, your key interest … to do all the research and talk to people.”

Networking with businesses and speaking with those already in the field make a difference, said Jennifer Williams, ArtSci ’16.

“That personal one-on one interaction, chatting with the manager and making a good impression, that’s how you get a job,” she said.

Williams currently works at Common Ground, as well as a Orientation Assistant for Queen’s through SWEP (Student Work Experience Program).

She said it’s difficult to find employment outside of Queen’s. She added a difficult job market in Toronto led her to stay in Kingston for work.

“In Toronto you have three campuses, plus a bunch of colleges, plus all those students who went abroad for university are back in the core, competing against a huge amount of students,” she said.

Offers for job interviews were not given to her until after the summer had already started, she said.

She said Career Services helped her find a job in Kingston through workshops, job fairs and learning how to build her resume. Stephanie Jackson, ArtSci ’14, managed to get two jobs in Kingston’s downtown core.

She said perseverance is key when sending out applications, as well as optimism.

“Then it happened to be that I was in a situation where they were looking for employees,” she said.

“It’s just timing, and being persistent.”

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