June 2024 employment figures for Brantford-Brant showed the largest month-over-month increase in over a year, but other data suggests the swing isn’t as dramatic as it first appears.

The Brantford area unemployment rate climbed by 0.8 percentage points in June to 5.7%, according to Statistics Canada estimates, which are seasonally adjusted and a three-month moving average.

Other Statistics Canada data that isn’t seasonally adjusted or averaged out over several months shows that the jobless rate has been gradually increasing and didn’t just have a sudden one-month jump.

Norfolk County’s unadjusted unemployment rate for June was 5.5%, down a full percentage point from May. However, for the three-month period April to June, the average tops 6%.

The unemployment rates for Ontario and Canada both climbed last month, the provincial rate hitting 7% and the national one reaching 6.4%, continuing a gradual upwards trend.

Trend in other parts of Canada

Both rates have climbed by at least one full percentage points since June 2023, the Canadian economy unable to create enough new jobs to accommodate an influx of people into the labour market.

“What we’re seeing in our local area with more people looking for and unable to find work, leading to a gradual increase in unemployment, is happening all around us and across the country,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“We know from talking with employers, community partners and local government that many businesses have tightened up hiring. And when they do have a position, they often get hundreds of applications.”

Dalton said the planning board is currently surveying employers and workers separately to better understand their challenges, including if there’s a skills mismatch contributing to employment barriers.

“Having local businesses complete our EmployerOne survey and having workers and job seekers do our new Workforce Skills and Training survey helps us get a fuller picture of the local job market,” she said.

On planning board’s Grand Erie Jobs online job website, 5% fewer employers were looking to hire in June. But the number of new jobs that appeared remained at about 2,200, led by nurses and retail salespersons.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read their news release on the June 2024 employment numbers for Canada and Ontario.

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