Hamilton still 'working its way back' from 2008 recession: report
Despite its ebbing unemployment and plucky housing market, Hamilton is still "working its way back" from the 2008 recession, according to a new report from World Vision and Citizens for Public Justice.
Released on Wednesday, the study "Poverty at Your Doorstep" examines the economic health of five Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Hamilton.
The Hamilton analysis suggests that though the city is making economic gains, its social assistance and overall poverty rates are still above pre-recession levels.
Bright spots, the report notes, include decreasing unemployment and child poverty rates, as well as an uptick in job creation.
The report also says that income inequality — which was steep before the economic downtown — continues to dog Hamilton in the wake of the recession.
"Community groups have also documented significant disparities among neighbourhoods," it reads. "In 2009, poverty levels ranged from under six per cent in one neighbourhood to over 40 per cent in two, while child poverty rates were over 60 per cent in several neighbourhoods."
As this statistic might suggest, the picture the report provides may not be entirely up to date. Its most recent data on several key indicators, including housing affordability and food bank usage, date from 2011. And the unemployment rate it cites — 6.4 per cent in 2011 — is 0.7 percentage points higher than the most recent figure, 5.7 per cent in February 2013.
Want to evaluate the findings for yourself? Read the report here: