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The province will help London determine why so many people in the region are choosing not to work.

Each month, the London-St. Thomas region ranks near the bottom of labour participation rates in Canada.

The unusually small labour force slows economic activity and makes vacant jobs hard to fill.

The province has agreed to pay for a study to determine which barriers prevent people from re-entering the labour force.

Next week, a council committee will consider hiring consultants from PWC to conduct the research.

“We need to know what those problems are. There’s a lot of opinions, but we need some real empirical data. We need to research these barriers before we can start to solve the problem,” says Coun. Shawn Lewis.