Local unemployment rate sees big decline

Local unemployment rate sees big decline

February 2023 employment numbers show that Brantford’s jobless rate fell for the firsst time in six months.

The Brantford-Brant unemployment rate last month was 5.8%, a one percentage drop from January’s 6.8%, according to Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey of area residents.

Job gains slowed in Ontario and for Canada as a whole in February. Canada’s jobless rate was unchanged at 5%, while Ontario nudged down to 5.1%.

Brantford’s jobless rate decreased largely due to fewer people being unemployed. Some of those people found jobs, while a greater share appears to have left the labour market.

“You don’t want to see people leave the labour market, especially at a time when some employers have shortages, but our overall level of employment remains impressive,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“Brantford has the second highest employment rate among nearby communities, only behind Guelph.”

Dalton said looking at the employment rate – the percentage of residents 15 years and older who are working – can give a fuller picture of the health of any community’s labour market.

For example, St. Catharines-Niagara’s jobless rate in February was 4.3% but its employment rate was 58.4%. By comparison, Brantford’s jobless rate looks worse at 5.8%, but the percentage of people employed is far better at 65.9%, she said.

Dalton added that Brantford’s February 2023 employment rate looks even more impressive when it comes to people in the core working ages of 24 to 54. Brantford’s employment rate for this age group is 89.3%, which is higher than nearby communities – and the second highest in Ontario.

“That’s a new high for this area according to Statistics Canada figures dating back to 2006,” she said.

There were about 2,500 new job postings in February across the region on the Grand Erie Jobs online job board. The largest number of postings continues to be in health care and social assistance, while postings in manufacturing and construction increased. The number of retail positions continues to slide, which is not unusual to see in the post-Christmas season.

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

January saw recent job gains retreat locally

January saw recent job gains retreat locally

January 2023 employment numbers showed that job gains have stalled in the Brantford area job market, with the jobless rate continuing its recent climb.

Brantford-Brant’s unemployment rate increased to a six-month high in January, reaching 6.8%, up from December’s 6.4%, according to Statistics Canada estimates based on its monthly labour force survey of residents.

Ontario’s jobless rate dipped to 5.2% in January as the provincial economy added 63,000 jobs. Across Canada, the unemployment rate held steady, even though employment grew by 150,000.

Brantford’s labour market retreated in January after recording several months of gains in key categories. After reaching a two-year high to close out 2022, the size of the labour force shrunk in January and employment fell modestly.

“We’ve seen some very strong numbers in recent months for both total employment and more residents participating in the labour force. This has helped ease concerns over the jobless rate,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “Now, unfortunately, we’ve seen some of those gains erode.”

Brantford employment rate still strong

Brantford and Hamilton were the only neighbouring communities where the unemployment rate increased in January. However, despite that, Brantford’s January 2023 employment rate of 65.7% still beats all its neighbours.

“There’s still some positives in the numbers,” Dalton said. “The unemployment rate only tells part of the story.”

After dipping in recent months, the number of jobs on the Grand Erie Jobs job board rebounded in January with 2,900 new postings across the region, which includes Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit, as well as Brantford and Brant.

Postings were led by jobs in health care and social assistance, including ones for nurses, PSWs and social workers. There were more than 700 positions in the sector in January, the highest level since the Workforce Planning Board launched Grand Erie Jobs in 2020.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on January 2023 employment in Canada and Ontario.

2023 EmployerOne survey wants you!

2023 EmployerOne survey wants you!

2023 EmployerOne survey dives into the workforce needs and challenges of area employers.

The EmployerOne – Spotlight on Quality of Work survey has been launched by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie and is supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

The survey, which runs until Jan. 31,  will also be promoted by many community organizations, including chambers of commerce and economic development departments.

Previous EmployerOne surveys have provided valuable insights into issues affecting employers in Brantford, Six Nations of the Grand River, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

“With labour shortages and other workforce-related issues affecting many employers, we felt the time was right to bring back the EmployerOne survey,” said Danette Dalton, the board’s executive director.

“This year’s focus ties in with research we did in the last couple of months talking to employees and job seekers about what they value in a workplace. It’s now the turn of employers to give their perspective.”

Hundreds of area employers have completed EmployerOne in the past, but the survey wasn’t carried out over the pandemic, Dalton said. “A lot has changed for businesses, to say the least.”

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/E12023

Traditional EmployerOne questions touch on hiring plans, hard-to-fill jobs, strategies for staff attraction and retention, and other topics.

New quality of work-related questions look at what practices and policies businesses have in place that may make them attractive to new and existing workers, such as: health benefits, on-the-job training, the chance for promotions, flexible work conditions and working from home.

The 2023 EmployerOne survey also asks employers what barriers they face in bringing in or enhancing quality of work practices. “Some employers may have things in place that other businesses can learn from,” Dalton said.

Information and results from past EmployerOne surveys can be found by visiting this Page.

This Employment Ontario project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

More residents active in area labour force

More residents active in area labour force

December 2022 employment numbers saw Brantford-Brant’s labour force swell in size, resulting in a higher jobless rate when not everyone was able to find jobs.

The Brantford area’s unemployment rate climbed to 5.8% last month, up from November’s 5.2%, based on estimates from Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey. Norfolk County’s unemployment rate stood at 7.5% in December, higher than recent months but below that of one year ago.

Across Canada, December 2022 employment grew by 104,000, dropping the national jobless rate to an even 5%. Ontario gained 43,000 jobs and the provincial monthly rate fell to 5.3%.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie says concern over the Brantford area’s higher unemployment is eased by a growth in the employment and participation rates.

Labour force participation

“The percentage of people participating in the local labour force is at a 2 1/2 -year high, which is healthy to see,” said Executive Director Danette Dalton. “And the local employment rate remains strong, just off the 3-year high we saw a couple months ago.”

Brantford’s unemployment rate is similar to that of London and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, but higher than Hamilton and St. Catharines-Niagara.

However, Brantford has the highest labour force participation rate of surrounding communities, at 69.5%. Next closest is the Kitchener area’s 69%. Canada and Ontario both have a participation rate of 64.9%.

The Workforce Planning Board is urging local employers to complete its EmployerOne survey this month to help the community gain a fuller picture of the local labour market.

Survey link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/E12023

Hiring often slows down during December, something that is reflected in the latest numbers from Grand Erie Jobs. There were about 2,150 new job postings last month, down more than 500 from November.

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

Local jobless rate now above national figure

Local jobless rate now above national figure

November 2022 employment numbers showed Brantford-Brant’s jobless rate climbed above the national average for the first time since January.

But, overall, employment growth in the Brantford job market over the same 11-month time period has far outpaced job gains for Canada. Since January, the local employment rate has grown by 4.5%, compared to the national average growth of 0.3%.

Brantford-Brant’s unemployment rate increased to 5.2% in November, up from October’s 4.8%, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released by Statistics Canada.

Canada’s jobless rate dipped to 5.1% after employment grew by a modest 10,000, while Ontario’s rate declined to 5.5%.

“While we don’t like to see the local unemployment rate increase, the bigger picture shows that there has been impressive job growth in our region in 2022,” said Danette Dalton, the workforce board’s executive director. “About 6,000 more people were working last month compared to the start of the year.”

Dalton said the job gains accumulated throughout the year means that almost 66% of the working age population in the Brantford area are employed, compared to the national average of 61.5%.

November 2022 employment numbers from Statistics Canada show the bulk of the job gains have been in full-time jobs for men in the core working age of 25 – 54, with employment up about 4,300 since January.

By comparison, full-time employment for women 25 – 54 is down 1,600 over the same 11 months, while part-time work has increased 1,700. Full-time employment for women ages 55 – 64 is up almost a 1,000.

Since January, employment in goods producing industries is up about 2,800 positions, with manufacturing accounting for most of that. In the service sector, the largest job gain has been in other services, a broad category that includes motor vehicle and machinery repair, personal care such as hairstyling and civic organizations.

There were almost 2,700 new postings in November on Grand Erie Jobs, the region’s largest job board. That number was down from the 4,000 mark seen over several months this past Spring and Summer.

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

Employment and unemployment up

Employment and unemployment up

October 2022 employment and unemployment increased in unison in the Brantford-Brant area.

The area’s employment rate grew to a new three-year high of 66% in October, up from 65.1% the previous month, while the jobless rate increased by a smaller amount to 4.8%, according to Statistics Canada estimates based on its monthly survey of households.

Canada’s jobless rate remained unchanged at 5.2%, even though an estimated 108,000 more people were working in full-time jobs. Employment grew in Ontario by 43,000 jobs in October, mainly in part-time work and mainly in Toronto.

“Additional people joining the workforce can soften the impact of the labour shortage that is being experienced by many Brantford area businesses,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “We know from our conversations with employers that the labour shortage is at top of mind.”

October 2022 employment growth continued the gains seen over the last six months. Employment has grown by about 5,000, while the number of unemployed people only increased by a few hundred, meaning most people entering or re-entering the labour force did find jobs.

Dalton said the Grand Erie Aspire Job Fair, taking place Nov. 15 to 17 in Brantford, Norfolk County and Brant County, has seen strong interest from employers, with more than 100 registered so far.

There were almost 3,000 new postings in October on Grand Erie Jobs, the region’s largest job board, as well as hundreds of positions posted in September that were still active.

Job seekers will soon be able to set up free accounts and customize their use of Grand Erie Jobs to aid their search, Dalton said. People will have the ability to follow specific occupations and local companies, match their skills to job openings, and create a resume.

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

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