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.