The chair of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce says unemployment rates in the northeast are expected to go down in the next few years.

David Boyce said he predicts the rate will fall from a high of 7.8 per cent in 2011 to 6.6 per cent in 2015.

Those numbers are reached by looking at a combination of shrinking population and increasing jobs, he said, adding the number of people in the northeast will decline by nearly 2,000 in the next couple of years.

man working on building

An economic outlook for northeastern Ontario predicts a modest increase in jobs. (CBC)

“That's been a trend that we've seen in the last few years and [it’s] expected to continue,” he said.

“There's an out-migration in northeastern Ontario and we expect that to continue in the coming years, albeit at a slow rate.”

On the upside, Boyce said he expects to see an additional 3,500 jobs in the region.

“We've struggled in northeastern Ontario for generations in keeping people in the north and attracting new migrants to our community,” he said.

“It's about jobs, and the bright news in this report is that we do see some growth in jobs on a go forward basis."

He said most of those will come in government services, retail-wholesale trade, and manufacturing.