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.