Brantford-Brant’s unemployment rate dropped for the fourth consecutive month in May.

According to Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey, the area’s jobless rate shrunk 0.9 points to 4.1% in May, the lowest figure seen since July 2022.

Meanwhile, job gains slowed in Ontario and Canada. The national jobless rate rose to 5.2%, while the provincial rate climbed to 5.5% as a result of 24,000 fewer working.

Locally, employment dipped slightly in May but about 4,000 more people were working compared to May 2022.

The growth is concentrated in the manufacturing sector, but employment in finance and insurance also increased considerably compared to the same month in 2022.

Youth Participation in Decline

“While we remain optimistic given the year-over-year job growth, we do need to focus on supporting more youth with finding meaningful work as the summer approaches,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“We’re seeing a growing number of students unable to find stable part-time employment and a number of youths not participating in the labour force because they feel discouraged. We need to create more opportunities to mentor and engage them, to utilize their unique talents and help them build their skillsets.”

Local community agencies came together last month to host Epic Jobs 2023, which showcased exciting trades and career opportunities to 1,600 elementary school students from across the Grand Erie region.

Grand Erie Jobs, the online job board operated by the Workforce Planning Board, saw about 2,500 new postings in May, down slightly from April. The largest number of postings continues to be in healthcare and social assistance and manufacturing, but postings for food service and retail trade jobs also increased this past month.

Brant County Healthcare System had the largest number of new job posts in May, followed by several regional municipalities.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read their news release on May 2023 employment numbers for Canada and Ontario.

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