December job numbers end 2020 on positive note for area

December job numbers end 2020 on positive note for area

 Brantford’s job numbers ended a tough 2020 on a high note, but the start of the new year could tell a different story.

The local unemployment rate continued its six-month long descent, landing at 6.1% for December, down from November’s 6.6%, according to Statistics Canada figures. Norfolk’s monthly jobless rate was 6.3% in December.

Statistics Canada’s estimates are based on a local survey conducted Dec. 6 to Dec. 12, prior to the Ontario government imposing a stricter lockdown in our area.

“We’ve seen Brantford’s jobless rate cut in half, since reaching a high of 12.6% last June,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie. “January’s numbers could tell a different story depending on the duration of the lockdown, but we hope there isn’t a spike.”

Brantford’s December unemployment rate was better than the Canadian and Ontario averages, and better than area communities.

The national rate inched up to 8.6% after employment fell by 63,000 across Canada, while a larger pool of job seekers caused Ontario’s figure to climb to 9.5%. Only Guelph and Kingston had a jobless rate lower than Brantford.

Fewer local residents were working or looking for work in December compared to the month before, according to Statistics Canada. Young men aged 15 to 24 have seen the most job gains in the last several months, in both full-time and part-time work.

Top job postings on Grand Erie Jobs, the Workforce Planning Board’s local job board, include: material handler, personal support worker, general farm labourer and delivery drivers.

Read Statistics Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey news release for December November 2020.


Season’s Greetings from the Workforce Planning Board

Season’s Greetings from the Workforce Planning Board

Season’s Greetings and best wishes to a healthy, prosperous 2021 from the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie and the Skills2Advance Job Training Program.

For its holiday photo, Workforce Planning Board staff posed on Zoom with an item that was in hot demand during the early days of 2020’s pandemic.

2020 has been a difficult year, but our communities, businesses and workers have risen to the challenge, demonstrating generosity and resiliency.

We’ve continued to work throughout the crisis to serve our communities.

In 2020, we launched a number of initiatives to help our communities respond to COVID-19:

Grand Erie Jobs, a job board featuring postings from Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and New Credit. Also features a Jobs Map showing location of jobs and 400 community services, plus a Career Explorer tool with info on 500 occupations.

Skills2Advance, a rebrand of our job training program that trains people to work in manufacturing and warehousing. Several dozen job-ready people were graduated to work as Material Handlers and other positions in 2020.

Grand Erie Recovery Taskforce. The community taskforce surveyed workers and businesses about the pandemic’s impact and developed strategies for recovery. LEARN MORE

Virtual Job Fair & Skills Exploration event, held in October, connected job seekers with businesses, guest speakers and expert panels – all online. LEARN MORE

Navigating Grand Erie Transportation Survey, asking residents about their transit needs and challenges. You’re invited to TAKE SURVEY

We thank you for being there for each other. We look forward to a safe and prosperous 2021.


November 2020 job market helped by holiday hiring

November 2020 job market helped by holiday hiring

November 2020’s job market in Brantford Brant got a boost with holiday hiring.

Hiring for part-time jobs helped Brantford’s unemployment rate fall to 6.6% in November, down from October’s 7.2% mark, according to Statistics Canada figures.

Canada’s November jobless rate fell to 8.5%, while Ontario’s declined to 9.1%, but in both cases the job growth slowed compared to previous months.

Sixty-three per cent of Brantford residents, ages 15 and over, were employed in November – higher than in the Hamilton, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, St. Catharines-Niagara and London metropolitan areas.

But even though Brantford’s job market appears better off compared to elsewhere, it is still weaker than pre-pandemic times and pales in comparison to November 2019’s record-low 3.1% unemployment.

“As we enter the holiday season, it’s good news to see more people in our community working,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.

“This is the season to remember those who aren’t as fortunate. Compared to this time last year, there are several thousand more residents not working. 2020 has been a tough year for many families and many people still feel their job situation is precarious.”

November 2020 job numbers showed that mployment growth over the last few months has been in part-time work, especially for women. Women have lost ground in full-time work, while the number of men working full time has remained steady.

More than 500 businesses advertised Brantford jobs in November on the Workforce Planning Board’s Grand Erie Jobs board. Top occupations were retail salesperson, material handler, other customer service representatives, home support workers, light duty cleaners and registered nurses.

Grand Erie Jobs regularly scans more than dozen online job boards looking for jobs in Brantford and surrounding communities. “Grand Erie Jobs is a one-stop source for local openings and a great resource for anyone looking for work or exploring career options,” Danette said.

Read Statistics Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey news release for November 2020.


October 2020 job numbers move in right direction

October 2020 job numbers move in right direction

October 2020’s job numbers showed that Brantford’s job market continues to bounce back from the worst impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city’s unemployment rate has fallen for four straight months since hitting a peak of 12.6% in June. The jobless rate was estimated at 7.2% in October, down from 8.1% in September, according to Statistics Canada figures.

Brantford’s job picture continues to look rosier than in surrounding communities and in Ontario and Canada as a whole.

St. Catharines-Niagara rate of 7.5% is the closest to Brantford’s, while the highest is Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo’s 10.8%. Canada’s national unemployment rate remained virtually unchanged at 8.9% in October, while Ontario’s monthly rate was 9.6%, with only modest job gains.

“The Brantford area job market continues to be on the right track and gain jobs,” said Danette Dalton, Workforce Planning Board executive director.

“However, there are still an estimated 5,900 residents who are unemployed here, which is more than double the number from October 2019. There are still many residents who need help, who need jobs.”

The recent trend has shown women leading job gains in Brantford for months. But women aged 55+ have actually lost ground compared to June, the month where the pandemic’s impact was most evident.

The Workforce Planning Board’s Grand Erie Jobs portal showed there were about 700 Brantford jobs advertised in October, the large majority full-time, permanent positions. Top jobs posted were material handler, retail salesperson, customer service representative and home support worker.

To help meet the ongoing need for material handlers, the board’s Skills2Advance program is offering eligible job seekers free job training to work in warehousing-manufacturing.

Dalton said the board is currently conducting a survey of residents – both those working and not working – about their transportation and transit needs. “We wish to learn if public transit options support the needs of people living and working in Brantford and Grand Erie.”

Read Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey news release for October 2020.

Virtual Job Fair & Skills Exploration Event Oct. 6

Virtual Job Fair & Skills Exploration Event Oct. 6

The Grand Erie Virtual Job Fair & Skills Exploration Event will be held entirely online Oct. 6, 2020 for the communities of Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and New Credit.

Organized by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie and the regional Skilled Trades Alliance, this event will allow job seekers to connect with local employers remotely using cell phones, tablets or computers.

People will have an opportunity to learn about exciting careers in the skilled trades and other major sectors, as well as learn about local training, apprenticeships and future job trends.

The focus is promoting occupations in Grand Erie, community building, and inspiring individuals to succeed. Participants can “meet” and chat with employers in need of workers, now or in the future.

Over 35 regional companies and organizations will be exhibiting their programs and job opportunities.

The day-long virtual event will take place on vFairs, a virtual event platform that uses advanced 3D technology to create a live event experience complete with exhibitor booths in a hall, panel discussions, webinars and an auditorium.

Participants would be able to interact with exhibitors in real time via chat, email or Zoom video-conferencing.

Celebrity trades promoter Mandy Rennehan will be the keynote speaker for the event.


For more information, contact:

July job numbers show Brantford recovery started

July job numbers show Brantford recovery started

Brantford is on the road to recovery, with July job numbers indicating a 2% drop in the unemployment rate since June.

According to a Statistics Canada survey conducted July 12 to July 18, an estimated 1,500 less were unemployed in June, bringing Brantford’s unemployment rate down to 10.6%, down from 12.6%. Employment grew even more significantly, indicating that many more people are looking for and finding work.

Canada’s employment grew by 419,000, bringing the national unemployment rate down to 10.9%. Provincially, the unemployment rate fell to 11.3% as 151,000 more people found work.

Some surrounding metropolitan areas – including Hamilton, St. Catharines-Niagara and Guelph – saw decreases in their jobless rates as well.

Most of the employment gains in our region were in full-time work, driven largely by growth in the manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade industries.

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