Job numbers stayed steady in September

Job numbers stayed steady in September

September 2023 employment numbers showed that the Brantford area job market held steady last month and even recovered some recent lost ground.

Brantford-Brant’s jobless rate last month was 4.7%, a small drop from August’s 4.8%, according to Statistics Canada’s seasonally adjusted numbers. Norfolk’s job numbers showed the jobless rate hovering around 4.5% over the last few months.

Canadian employment grew by 64,000 in September, though the national jobless rate remained unchanged at 5.5%. Ontario added some jobs but the unemployment rate still nudged up to 6%.

September 2023 employment statistics showed that Brantford area has the lowest unemployment rate compared to the nearby communities of Hamilton, St. Catharines-Niagara, London, Guelph and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo.

After shrinking in recent months, the overall size of the labour pool increased in Brantford in September.

“Hopefully the number of people who are active in the labour force, working or looking for work, continues to improve, reversing the recent negative trend,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “It’s good to remind people that there are many opportunities out there.”

A Fall Job Fair with about 35 businesses who are hiring is taking place Oct. 11 at Brantford’s Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre. The job fair is organized by three local employment centres and the Workforce Planning Board.

Job seekers who go to the job fair are being encouraged to dress to impress employers and to bring their resumes, as some employers will be doing on-the-spot interviews.

September saw more than 2,300 new job postings appear on Grand Erie Jobs, the community’s job board operated by the Workforce Planning Board.

The average wage listed in job posts was about $24 an hour in September, which was similar to recent months but $1.80 more than September 2022.

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

Workers continue to leave labour force

Workers continue to leave labour force

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.


Quality of Work study looks at workplaces

Quality of Work study looks at workplaces

Quality of Work study shows there are significant differences between how local employees and employers view what makes a workplace a good place to work.

The study found that, in general, employers excel at providing a positive work environment and good overall working conditions, but they sometimes come up short in the eyes of employees when it comes to wages, skills building and career advancement.

This is one of the key findings from Examining Quality of Work in Grand Erie report, published by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie in collaboration with the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

“Having strong quality of work is a major factor in attracting and retaining employees,” said report author Wynona Mendes, Research Lead with the Workforce Planning Board.

“The pandemic has shown that many people are prepared to change jobs and careers – perhaps more than ever before – to find a workplace they are happier in and offers better pay, working conditions and work-life balance.”


The study assessed the needs, gaps and opportunities for improving quality of work, a term that encompasses things such as wages, benefits, job security, chance for promotion, access to skills development, and workplace culture.

The study gathered input from more than 480 job seekers and employees, as well as 160 employers, in Brantford, Six Nations, Mississaugas of the Credit, and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

The Examining Quality of Work in Grand Erie report is available on the Workforce Planning Board’s website HERE 

The study’s goal was to deepen the understanding of how quality of work is perceived and experienced, and to investigate what supports employers may need to enhance working conditions.

“One of the major workforce shifts we’ve seen in the last few years is more emphasis on the mental health and wellness of employees,” Mendes said. “Employers are recognizing that these factors have a direct impact on employee performance and productivity, and many are adopting innovative practices – such as providing longer breaks and remote working – to support their workers’ well-being.”


Tricia Williams, director of research, evaluation and knowledge mobilization at the Future Skills Centre, said the study is timely.

“As Canadian labour markets continue to navigate volatility and labour shortages, addressing the multi-dimensional factors of quality of work could hold the key for policy makers and employers to effectively retain, upskill and grow our talent pools,” Williams said.

“We are pleased to work with the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie on this important research that starts to uncover the types of supports the local workforce would find most beneficial to improving their quality of work.”

Mendes said the study can shine a spotlight on quality of work issues and lead to improvements for both employees and employers.

“There are opportunities for innovative thinking and strategies to enhance individuals’ quality of work, while also ensuring businesses have the motivated, productive and happy workforce they need to be successful,” Mendes said.


The Workforce Planning Board is holding a live webinar on Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, to summarize the findings of the Quality of Work study. Several Grand Erie employers will also talk about the innovative strategies they’ve used to elevate quality of work within their workplaces.

Anyone interested in attending the webinar can REGISTER HERE

The study was funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre, a forward-looking organization that prototypes, tests and measures new and innovative approaches to skills development across Canada.

Jobless rate remains lowest in wider area

Jobless rate remains lowest in wider area

July 2023 employment figures showed the Grand Erie region tied for the second lowest jobless rate in Ontario.

The Brantford area unemployment rate rose to 4.2% last month, up from June’s 3.9%, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released by Statistics Canada.

The national rate rose slightly to 5.5%, while Ontario’s unemployment rate shrunk 0.1 point to 5.6%.

Brantford continues to boast the lowest jobless rate compared to surrounding census metropolitan areas, with Guelph following closely behind at 4.4%.

Youth participation and employment both increased, but this was offset by significant decreases amongst core working age and older adults. Both full and part-time employment decreased month over month.

“We’re seeing a growing number of older adults leave the labour force, which creates more job openings, but many of these are hard to fill because there’s a limited labour supply,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie’s executive director.

“For the past few months, we’ve observed increases in the number of core-working aged adults not in the labour force, and we need to strategize ways to support these individuals by addressing obstacles that deter them from looking for work.

“We recently completed an in-depth study designed to better understand how workers can be supported through improving quality of work across workplaces. We observed major gaps in how employers and employees viewed job quality, but also, significant opportunities for collaborations between sectors, governments, community agencies and workers.”

The WPBGE’s latest report Examining Quality of Work in Grand Erie: an assessment of needs, gaps and opportunities’ is set to be released later this month. The report will be posted to this website.

The Grand Erie Jobs online job board saw about 2350 new postings in July, down slightly from June. The retail trade industry maintained the largest number of postings – namely for retail salespersons, followed by the health care and social assistance, waste management and educational services sectors.

There were also a large number of postings for material handlers, other customer and information service representatives and personal support workers, as well as for university professors and lecturers.

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


Local jobless rate equals Ontario’s best

Local jobless rate equals Ontario’s best

June 2023 employment numbers saw Brantford-Brant in a three-way tie for Ontario’s lowest jobless rate.

June saw the area’s unemployment rate fall to 3.9%, down from 4.1% in May, according to Statistics Canada’s estimates released on Friday. Meanwhile, Norfolk County’s jobless rate for June was 4.5%, almost the same as one year ago.

Brantford-Brant was tied with Kingston and Thunder Bay with 3.9% jobless rates. Among nearby communities, the lowest rate was Guelph’s 4.2%. Hamilton’s unemployment rate was 5%, while Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge was 6.2%.

Employment grew by 60,000 across Canada last month, but the jobless rate still climbed to 5.4% because more people searched for work. It was a similar story at the provincial level, as Ontario’s rate increased to 5.7%, despite employment being up 56,000.

“The local job market continues to be strong, with companies expanding and many active construction projects,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“Yet, at the same time, the number of people not in the labour force, from students to older adults, is the highest in more than 6 months. There are many potential workers we need to engage with to get them participating.”

People not in the labour force

The number of local adults 15 and over not in the labour force, meaning they were neither employed nor unemployed, was 40,400 in June, up more than 5,000 from last December.

“Some of those people were working over the winter but aren’t now. It’s unclear why,” Dalton said.

There were more than 2,700 job vacancies in June on Grand Erie Jobs, the area’s largest online job board, which is operated by the Workforce Planning Board. In total, there were 4,500 active job postings last month, with 1,500 employers looking to hire.

Retail salesperson is the No. 1 job in demand, while transport truck drivers, material handlers and customer service representatives were also heavily advertised for in June. There were also a large number of postings in education, from elementary school teachers to university lecturers.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read their news release on June 2023 employment numbers for Canada and Ontario.

Translate »

Help Us Serve You Better

We are collecting data to better understand who is looking for work and what kind of opportunities jobseekers are searching for. This data is completely anonymous and non-personally identifiable.

Your Age: