COVID-19 impacts thousands of people’s jobs

COVID-19 impacts thousands of people’s jobs

Thousands more Brantford residents were thrown out of work in April as COVID-19 slammed the economy.

An estimated 7,300 local residents were unemployed in April, up 2,700 from March and up almost 4,000 since January, according to Statistics Canada figures released Friday. April’s Brantford jobless rate of 9.4% – a 3.5% one-month jump – was the highest in nine years.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie says Brantford has fared worse than most surrounding large communities, with the exception of the 9.9% recorded in St. Catharines-Niagara, an area with thousands of tourism-related jobs. Hamilton has the lowest April jobless rate at 7.5%.

“You can’t sugar coat this: thousands of our residents and businesses are feeling the pain of COVID-19’s impact on employment and the economy,” said Danette Dalton, the board’s executive director. “We hope some of that pain will be eased very soon, as businesses reopen and people are called back to work.”

Over the last two months in Brantford, men have been harder hit than women by full-time job losses, and there’s evidence that more people have seen their hours drop to part time. The age group that has seen the largest share of job loss has been young workers, aged 15 to 24, particularly part-timers. There have been modest job gains among older women, including seniors.

People working in manufacturing and construction saw job losses of more than 10% in April, while there were also large drops in the number of people working in sales, service, transport, arts, culture and recreation. There were modest gains in the number of people working in government services, finance, insurance and related occupations.

Vote to help name our new local job portal

Vote to help name our new local job portal

A new community job board is looking for a name.

Residents are invited to vote on a list of five names for the job portal, which will soon be launched by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.

The portal will show up-to-date job listings in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties. Local job postings will be automatically pulled from about 20 frequently used online job sites, and the location and details of each position will be shown on an easy-to-use map.

The five names in the running for Name the Job Portal voting are:

1.       Jobs2Advance

2.       Grand Erie Jobs

3.       Advance2Jobs

4.       Careers2Grow

5.       Job Radar

Voting can be done by going to: HERE

Name the Job Portal voting will close on May 18.

Many local workers lose work due to COVID-19: survey

Many local workers lose work due to COVID-19: survey

More than 40% of Grand Erie residents have lost work due to the COVID-19 crisis, a new survey shows.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie’s COVID-19 Worker Impact Survey of 450 people found that 37% are temporarily not working, while another 5% have permanently lost work.

The biggest impact has been on people in the sectors of accommodation and food services, retail and wholesale trade, and education. Youth (ages of 18 – 24) working part time in the retail and food sectors appear particularly hard hit.

One in three respondents said they were worried about having enough food, and paying their rent, mortgage and paying monthly bills.

The local survey’s results are consistent with those from six other workforce planning boards in Southwestern Ontario, who conducted the same survey. Collectively, Workforce Planning West surveyed 2,570 people.

“The results of this survey will give government, business, and the community a better understanding of how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted workers and their families in our region,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie. “These results will also help inform where the Workforce Planning Board focuses its efforts to support our community.”

The survey asked if and how a worker’s employment status changed since March 2, their occupation, and which sector they were employed in. Questions were designed to gain insight into which groups of workers have been most affected by COVID-19 and in what ways.

In the Grand Erie region, 54% of respondents said they are working less or not at all, 27% are working the same amount, while 19% are working more, especially people working in health care, transportation and warehousing.

Other highlights from the survey of Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk residents include:

  • 23% of residents are working from home temporarily (13% lower than the regional average of 36%)
  • 65% of residents are confident they will be able to find work after the COVID-19 crisis ends
  • 80% are aware of worker supports set up by government, and 52% said the programs meet their expectations
  • Residents said the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), increased access to Employment Insurance and support for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres are the most important supports put in place by the government at this time
  • 85% believe grocery stores are doing enough to support their families at this time, and 80% believe pharmacies are doing enough
  • 50% of residents believe that our communities will be stronger after COVID-19

The COVID-19 Worker Impact Survey was open from March 26 to April 20. Grand Erie region results had a margin of error of 5%, 19 times out of 20; and the Southwestern Ontario results had a margin of error of 2%, 19 times out of 20.

Two dashboards are available to help people view and interpret the raw survey results online:

COVID-19 Worker Impact Survey Results Dashboard

Comparing Local vs. Regional Data from the COVID-19 Worker Impact Results Survey Dashboard

Job numbers show labour force shrinking

Job numbers show labour force shrinking

After setting record lows last fall, Brantford jobless rate is climbing and the labour force continues to shrink.

Statistics Canada’s local labour force survey of local residents estimated the city’s unemployment rate at 4.7% for February, up from 4.3% in January, with all figures seasonally adjusted.

Brantford’s jobless rate has climbed 1.6% since setting a record low of 3.1% last November. However, February’s rate closely mirrors the 4.6% average Brantford has seen over the last 12 months.

There have been sizeable changes in the Brantford-Brant job market in the last year.

The most notable changes have been the shrinking labour force and participation rates. The size of the labour force was estimated at 78,400 people in February, the smallest in the last year. The participation rate – the percentage of people working or looking for work – is also a low for the year.

The shrinking labour force is most noticeable in the 22 to 54 age range, which is considered the core working age group. There is an estimated 5,000 less people in that age range working today than a year ago, similar to the overall drop in population in that age group, according to Statistics Canada.

An estimated 3,000 more people in the 55 to 64 age range are working compared to a year ago. But even taking that into account, there are about 2,000 other people unaccounted for.

Job market a mixed story to start 2020

Job market a mixed story to start 2020

Brantford’s jobless rate pushed up in January, part of a recent trend which has seen fewer people working since last summer. The city’s unemployment rate was 4.3% last month, a half percentage rise from 3.8% in December, according to Statistics Canada’s seasonally adjusted figures. January’s local jobless rate is still much lower than the 5.9% of January 2019. Brantford’s unemployment rate is currently the third lowest in Ontario and also remains among the lowest in Canada. However, the last six months have been a mixed story in the local job market, which peaked in terms of overall employment last summer. Since July, the number of people participating in the labour market – either working or looking for work – has shrunk considerably, resulting in an estimated 4,800 less people employed. Those people didn’t join the ranks of the unemployed, as that number also fell. Employment fell over the last six months in the Brantford area across a wide range of service sector jobs, including retail, business services, finance, insurance, management of companies and public administration. Employment grew in goods producing industries, including manufacturing. Full-time employment has fallen since the summer, while part-time work has increased, especially among women. More men in the 55-64 age range have been working, while employment has fallen most notably among young men (15 – 24 age range).
Brantford area job market strong in 2019

Brantford area job market strong in 2019

Brantford’s jobless rate has climbed for the first time in six months, but 2019 overall saw strong job growth.

The city’s unemployment rate was 3.8% in December 2019, up from the historic low of 3.1% in November, according to seasonally adjusted estimates derived from a Statistics Canada survey of local households.

Norfolk’s jobless rate was 6% for December, monthly figures not adjusted for seasonal factors.

The year 2019 was a strong year for Brantford’s job market and employment growth. From 2018 to 2019, employment grew by 8,700 people to 78,700 people, according to annual Statistics Canada data, also released Friday. Three-quarters of the job growth in 2019 came in full-time work.

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