August 2023 employment numbers for Brantford Brant showed the jobless rate continues to increase, while the available labour pool keeps shrinking.

The Brantford-Brant unemployment rate climbed to 4.8% last month, up from July’s 4.2%, according to Statistics Canada’s seasonally adjusted figures, which are based on its monthly survey of local households.

Canada’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5% in August, despite employment climbing by 40,000 across the country. The employment gains were outpaced by an increase of 103,000 working-age adults, fuelled by immigration. Ontario’s jobless rate climbed to 5.9%, when employment remained unchanged at the same time as the number of potential workers swelled by 45,000.

The Brantford area hasn’t seen an influx of people into the labour market, like in Ontario and nationally. Quite the opposite, in fact. Brantford’s labour force has been shrinking in size.

Overall employment has declined during 2023, but so has the number of unemployed residents, indicating that people have left the labour market, said Workforce Planning Board Executive Director Danette Dalton.

Since December 2022, the labour force has shrunk by 5,000 people, while the number of people not in the labour force – those considered neither employed nor looking for work – increased by 6,200, according to Statistics Canada’s estimates. The largest drop has been among men.

“It is puzzling to see such a dramatic change, especially when there’s been a lot of talk this year of labour shortages and jobs going unfilled,” Dalton said. “The number of working age men not in the labour force has been particularly noticeable and concerning.”

Dalton said that while there have been fewer job postings lately and there are other signs that hiring has slowed down in the local economy, there is still work out there, spread right across the Grand Erie region.

There were about 2,500 new job postings in August on Grand Erie Jobs, the online job board operated by the Workforce Planning Board. That was up slightly from July.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read their report on August 2023 employment-related figures for Canada and Ontario.


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