Unemployment figures for June show Sudbury's workforce is doing slightly better than the rest of the province — but some say the long-term job outlook doesn't look good.

Laurentian University economist David Robinson said the long-term employment trend for the city isn't promising.

"Unless there's some kind of systematic approach, we're just going to see another decade of losing a few jobs across the north, while the Southern part of the province continues to grow,” he said.

To change that, Robinson said northern communities need to place steady pressure on the province to invest in the region.

Employment councillor Catherine Sutherland said there's a high demand for skilled workers in Sudbury, but not many people are qualified.

"Individuals who don't have post secondary education or trades have a difficult time securing employment,” she said.

The centre has been receiving more registrations for employment service. At least 50 more people registered for services between May and June, Sutherland noted.

A business professor at Cambrian College said retailers have been having a particularly tough time.

“Every retailer I've talked to has said they’re just holding their own,” Brian Vendramin said.

“They're not going backwards, but they're sputtering. There's no catalyst to move things forward.”

Sudbury's unemployment rate now stands at seven per cent.