Local unemployment drops once again

Local unemployment drops once again

May 2022 employment numbers show Brantford’s jobless is now the lowest in southern Ontario, after it dropped for the sixth straight month.

The city’s unemployment rate declined to 4.6% in May, down from April’s 4.8%, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

In Ontario, only Belleville, Sudbury and Thunder Bay have jobless rates lower than Brantford-Brant. The rates for the adjacent communities of Hamilton, St. Catharines-Niagara, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo are just above 5%.

Canada’s economy added 40,000 jobs in May, driven by job gains for women, dropping the national monthly unemployment rate to 5.1% – a new record low. Ontario’s rate was little changed at 5.5%.

Brantford’s jobless rate has fallen by a full 3% in the last six months, the largest decline among all Ontario communities surveyed, as well as provincially and nationally.

“The recent decline in Brantford’s jobless rate has been impressive,” said Danette Dalton, executive director. “That doesn’t mean there still aren’t challenges or room for improvement in the local labour market.”

Dalton said that even though unemployment has dropped, there are still fewer people participating in the labour market than six months ago.

“There are about 2,000 less people in the labour force, which is contributing to a tight labour market and making it difficult for some employers to fill job openings,” she said. “They want to hire but they can’t find the people.”

Grand Erie Jobs, the Workforce Planning Board’s community job board, saw more than 4,000 new job postings in May, on par with last month’ Employers with the most job postings included Wilfrid Laurier, Brant Community Healthcare System, Lowe’s, and local governments.

May 2022 employment statistics also showed am increase in part-time work and a drop in full-time work. This is most noticeable among women and among all workers 15 to 24 in age, many of whom work in the service industry. Month-over-month, meanwhile, May employment grew the most in manufacturing, according to Statistics Canada..

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on May 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

Brantford jobless rate continues to slide

Brantford jobless rate continues to slide

April 2022 employment numbers for Brantford showed the jobless rate decline for the 5th straight month.

April’s unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, from 5.1% in March, the lowest since January 2020, according to Statistics Canada’s latest survey of Brantford area residents.

Brantford has a lower unemployment rate than the nearby communities of Hamilton, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, St. Catharines-Niagara and Guelph, while London recorded the same 4.8% figure.

April 2022 employment was little changed across Canada, with the national jobless rate inching down to 5.2%. Ontario’s unemployment rate inched up to 5.4%.

Canada’s unemployment rate for people in the core working ages of 25 to 54 was 4.3%, the lowest since comparable data became available in 1976.

“There are signs of an increasingly tight labour force in the Brantford area,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “The number of residents participating in the labour market has declined, meaning there are fewer potential workers for our employers to draw on.”

Since April 2021, the Brantford area labour force has shrunk by an estimated 3,300 people, a figure that includes 1,800 fewer employed. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults participating in the labour force fell 3.6%.

Dalton said there’s still a strong appetite from employers for workers, with lots of competition for a smaller pool of potential workers.

There were a record 4,100 postings in April on Grand Erie Jobs, the region’s largest job board that is operated by the Workforce Planning Board.

“The number of companies looking for and competing for workers has increased, and businesses are doing more to stand out, including participating in job fairs and advertising more,” Dalton said.

“Firms are also focusing on keeping the workers they have, either by increasing wages and benefits, or improving work-life balance for employees. A survey the Workforce Planning Board conducted last year showed that people are attracted to workplaces that offer good work-life balance.”

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on April 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

Local unemployment falls to 2-year low

Local unemployment falls to 2-year low

March 2022 employment picked up, with the unemployment rate falling to a two-year low as more people entered the job market and found work.

Brantford-Brant’s jobless rate was 5.1% last month, down from 5.5% in February, according to seasonally adjusted March 2022 employment numbers released by Statistics Canada. March’s 5.1% is the lowest since January 2020, prior to the pandemic.

About 73,000 more people were working across Canada in March, dropping the national jobless rate to 5.3% – the lowest on record in almost five decades. Ontario saw almost half of the job gains and its rate also dipped to 5.3%.

Brantford saw several key labour force numbers improve in March, including employment rate, size of the labour force and the rate of participation. However, some of these numbers are still lower than they were a year ago.

“We’ve seen a steady improvement over the last few months in many areas, but we still have a ways to go,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“This time last year the employment rate was better and more people were active in the labour market. There are still people who haven’t yet re-entered the workforce and there is a lot of demand from employers.”

There was a record 4,000 jobs posted on the planning board’s Grand Erie Jobs community job board in March, about 800 more than the previous high seen last November.

About 2,000 area businesses had postings, with the most advertised jobs being material handler, retail salesperson, transit drivers, customer service representatives, and homecare and education support workers.

There are several short-term job training programs starting soon in the Brantford area, including a free, two-week introduction to welding course offered by the planning board at local colleges. Women, in particular, are being encouraged to apply to Skills2Advance Welding.

“There many available jobs, training programs and community supports out there for anyone looking for work or who want to retrain for new careers,” Dalton said.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on March 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

Free program will train people to be welders

Free program will train people to be welders

Free welding training is being offered to give 150 people a head start to work as welders, helping meet the needs of local companies hungry for workers.

The Workforce Planning Board will provide the program through its Skills2Advance Welding training arm, in partnership with the CWB Welding Foundation. Training will be delivered by four area colleges.

The two-week-long classes start in June and will be offered regularly over the next year. Participants will be recruited from Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties. Residents of Hamilton, Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo and Oxford County can also sign up.

Two-thirds of participants for the free welding training are expected to be women, a group that is underrepresented in the skilled trades. Only 10 per cent of welders in Grand Erie are female. There will also be opportunities for people who have a disability, youth, and other groups that are underrepresented in the trades.

Tremendous opportunity

“This is a tremendous opportunity for people to get started in the skilled trades with this high-demand occupation and start building their career,” said Danette Dalton, the planning board’s executive director. “We’re excited to work with the CWB Welding Foundation, area post-secondary schools and other community partners to give people the skills they need to succeed.”

People can find more information about the program by visiting www.skills2advance.com/welding

The CWB Welding Foundation has for years operated training programs for welders across Canada. Its Women of Steel program has trained hundreds of women since 2019, while its Mind Over Metal program has been in operation since 2014

The Women of Steel and Mind Over Metal curriculum will be delivered by instructors from Six Nations Polytechnic, Conestoga College, and Fanshawe College – Simcoe campus, using their welding shops. Mohawk College will provide training at its mobile classroom, which houses welding simulators in a truck trailer.

Minister of Labour

The one-year project is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

“With many tradespeople set to retire over the next decade, we need to do all we can to encourage people to consider careers in welding,” said Minister Monte McNaughton.

“Our government is proud to support this program, which will give future tradespeople, including women and people with disabilities, a head start in planning their careers, and help local employers find the workers they need to grow their business.”

It will include 30 hours of hands-on training, with the opportunity to obtain a CWB welding certification. Another 30 hours will focus on training in first aid, CPR, forklift and working at heights, and soft skills, such as problem-solving and workplace communications.

Free welding toolkit

Program participants will receive a free welding toolkit, which includes a welding helmet, and will be eligible to receive additional support to help cover other expenses, such as work boots.

When they graduate, participants will be assisted by local employment service agencies who will work with local businesses to offer on-the-job placements, which could lead to permanent positions.

“The goal is to find employment for participants, and we expect the program to be warmly received by employers,” Dalton said. “Welders are in demand, and that demand is expected to continue. We need to ensure there are new, eager workers entering the field.”

To learn more about job opportunities in welding, visit this page on Grand Erie Jobs: Welding careers

Brantford area jobless rate falls to 5.5%

Brantford area jobless rate falls to 5.5%

February 2022 employment numbers saw Brantford matching the 5.5% jobless rate recorded in Canada and Ontario.

About 800 more people were employed in the Brantford area last month, which led to the jobless rate falling a full percentage point from January’s 6.5% figure, according to estimates released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

The local unemployment rate has declined for several straight months, but February was the first time recently that it fell due to employment gains. Earlier declines were due to people leaving the labour force.

“It is great to see so many more getting back to work,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board. “There are many opportunities out there for job seekers, and many businesses are frustrated they can’t find people.”

A whopping 337,000 jobs were added across Canada, with Ontario accounting for 194,000 of those gains. About 114,000 jobs were gained across the country in accommodations and food services and a further 73,000 gains in culture, information and recreation – industries particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

It was good news almost across the board for Canada in general. There were job gains for both sexes, all age groups, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and in most industries.

Brantford’s data for February 2022 employment suggest there were job gains in the service sector overall, especially in public administration, but fewer people were working in wholesale/retail trade. Employment was also down in manufacturing. Full-time employment was up overall and part-time work down slightly for both sexes, but men in the core working age group of 25-54 saw more gains.

In February, there were close to 3,000 job postings on Grand Erie Jobs, the community’s largest job board run by the Workforce Planning Board.

“There are many options for people entering the job market and there are many employers who want them,” Dalton said.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on February 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

Jobless rate drops without job gains

Jobless rate drops without job gains

January 2022 employment numbers for Brantford showed the unemployment plunged, but it was due to people leaving the labour force, not job gains.

The local unemployment rate for January was 6.5%, down from 7.6% in December, based on a survey conducted by Statistics Canada during the week of Jan. 9 to 15, soon after Ontario started a lockdown designed to lessen the impact of the Omicron virus.

Canada’s unemployment rate edged up to 6.5% in January, after employment fell by 200,000, attributed to lockdowns in several provinces that especially impacted women and youth working part time in service-related jobs. Ontario was the hardest hit province, losing 146,000 positions, causing the unemployment rate to jump to 7.3%.

“At first glance, it appears that the Brantford area bucked the trend and employment held steady despite the lockdown,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “However, other job numbers suggest more people have left the labour market, which may be concerning.”

Statistics Canada also collects data on the number of people “not in the labour force.” This includes people who are neither employed nor actively looking for work, such as retirees, students and caregivers.

January 2022 employment numbers showed an estimated 41,500 area residents aged 15 and over not in the labour force, the highest level in 20 months since May 2020, during the pandemic’s first wave. The largest increase in this category is among women in the 65+ age group, some of whom may have worked part time previously.

“Women and students who might typically work part time in service jobs in food and retail may have become especially discouraged by all the disruptions, the ups and downs, caused by the pandemic,” Dalton said. “Some of those workers may return to the labour market once things stabilize.”

Others may have chosen to go back to school to retrain for different careers, looking for more stability in their work lives and better pay, she added.

During January, there were about 3,000 job postings on Grand Erie Jobs, the region’s largest job board, which is operated by the Workforce Planning Board. The number had dipped in December after surpassing 3,200 a month last fall.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on January 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

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