November 2023 employment figures showed that unemployment inched up in Brantford-Brant, despite the addition of several hundred jobs.

Last month’s local jobless rate climbed to 4.2%, up from 4.1% the previous month, even though employment grew by an estimated 500 people, according to the latest labour force survey from Statistics Canada. That increase in jobs caused the local employment rate to improve slightly to 63.3%.

Canada continues to add jobs but that hasn’t kept up with the country’s population growth. November saw employment increase by 25,000 jobs across Canada, but the unemployment rate still increased by 0.1% percentage points to 5.8% due to 78,000 working age people joining the labour pool. Ontario’s unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to 6.1%.

The Brantford area continues to boast the lowest jobless rate compared to neighbouring communities, and is the second lowest in the province, second only to Peterborough’s impressive 2.3%

Yet, while local employment numbers have been trending upwards over the last few months, there’s still room for improvement, said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board.

“Compared to this time last year, some of our local job numbers look better, but others don’t, frankly,” Dalton said. “Our unemployment rate in November 2022 was worse at 5.9%, but more people were participating in the labour force and were employed. Looking just at the jobless rate doesn’t tell the whole story.”

Dalton said that the employment rate a year ago was almost 3% higher than last month, and there were fewer people described as Not in the Labour Force: neither employed nor unemployed.

“But 2022 saw incredible, hard-to-beat job growth in our area, to put it in perspective. The 2023 year hasn’t seen as many gains in employment, but the numbers have been improving recently and we hope that continues into next year,” she said.

Retail salesperson was the No. 1 job advertised in November on Grand Erie Jobs, the job board operated by the Workforce Planning Board. Close to 200 of the 1,800 jobs were in retail, while another 100 were for shelf stockers and order fillers. Other top jobs included home support workers and material handlers.

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

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