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).