Local employment rate among the highest

Local employment rate among the highest

February 2023 employment numbers show that Brantford’s jobless rate fell for the firsst time in six months.

The Brantford-Brant unemployment rate last month was 5.8%, a one percentage drop from January’s 6.8%, according to Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey of area residents.

Job gains slowed in Ontario and for Canada as a whole in February. Canada’s jobless rate was unchanged at 5%, while Ontario nudged down to 5.1%.

Brantford’s jobless rate decreased largely due to fewer people being unemployed. Some of those people found jobs, while a greater share appears to have left the labour market.

“You don’t want to see people leave the labour market, especially at a time when some employers have shortages, but our overall level of employment remains impressive,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“Brantford has the second highest employment rate among nearby communities, only behind Guelph.”

Dalton said looking at the employment rate – the percentage of residents 15 years and older who are working – can give a fuller picture of the health of any community’s labour market.

For example, St. Catharines-Niagara’s jobless rate in February was 4.3% but its employment rate was 58.4%. By comparison, Brantford’s jobless rate looks worse at 5.8%, but the percentage of people employed is far better at 65.9%, she said.

Dalton added that Brantford’s February 2023 employment rate looks even more impressive when it comes to people in the core working ages of 24 to 54. Brantford’s employment rate for this age group is 89.3%, which is higher than nearby communities – and the second highest in Ontario.

“That’s a new high for this area according to Statistics Canada figures dating back to 2006,” she said.

There were about 2,500 new job postings in February across the region on the Grand Erie Jobs online job board. The largest number of postings continues to be in health care and social assistance, while postings in manufacturing and construction increased. The number of retail positions continues to slide, which is not unusual to see in the post-Christmas season.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on February employment in Canada and Ontario.

January saw recent job gains retreat locally

January saw recent job gains retreat locally

January 2023 employment numbers showed that job gains have stalled in the Brantford area job market, with the jobless rate continuing its recent climb.

Brantford-Brant’s unemployment rate increased to a six-month high in January, reaching 6.8%, up from December’s 6.4%, according to Statistics Canada estimates based on its monthly labour force survey of residents.

Ontario’s jobless rate dipped to 5.2% in January as the provincial economy added 63,000 jobs. Across Canada, the unemployment rate held steady, even though employment grew by 150,000.

Brantford’s labour market retreated in January after recording several months of gains in key categories. After reaching a two-year high to close out 2022, the size of the labour force shrunk in January and employment fell modestly.

“We’ve seen some very strong numbers in recent months for both total employment and more residents participating in the labour force. This has helped ease concerns over the jobless rate,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “Now, unfortunately, we’ve seen some of those gains erode.”

Brantford employment rate still strong

Brantford and Hamilton were the only neighbouring communities where the unemployment rate increased in January. However, despite that, Brantford’s January 2023 employment rate of 65.7% still beats all its neighbours.

“There’s still some positives in the numbers,” Dalton said. “The unemployment rate only tells part of the story.”

After dipping in recent months, the number of jobs on the Grand Erie Jobs job board rebounded in January with 2,900 new postings across the region, which includes Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit, as well as Brantford and Brant.

Postings were led by jobs in health care and social assistance, including ones for nurses, PSWs and social workers. There were more than 700 positions in the sector in January, the highest level since the Workforce Planning Board launched Grand Erie Jobs in 2020.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on January 2023 employment in Canada and Ontario.

2023 EmployerOne survey wants you!

2023 EmployerOne survey wants you!

2023 EmployerOne survey dives into the workforce needs and challenges of area employers.

The EmployerOne – Spotlight on Quality of Work survey has been launched by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie and is supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

The survey, which runs until Jan. 31,  will also be promoted by many community organizations, including chambers of commerce and economic development departments.

Previous EmployerOne surveys have provided valuable insights into issues affecting employers in Brantford, Six Nations of the Grand River, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

“With labour shortages and other workforce-related issues affecting many employers, we felt the time was right to bring back the EmployerOne survey,” said Danette Dalton, the board’s executive director.

“This year’s focus ties in with research we did in the last couple of months talking to employees and job seekers about what they value in a workplace. It’s now the turn of employers to give their perspective.”

Hundreds of area employers have completed EmployerOne in the past, but the survey wasn’t carried out over the pandemic, Dalton said. “A lot has changed for businesses, to say the least.”

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/E12023

Traditional EmployerOne questions touch on hiring plans, hard-to-fill jobs, strategies for staff attraction and retention, and other topics.

New quality of work-related questions look at what practices and policies businesses have in place that may make them attractive to new and existing workers, such as: health benefits, on-the-job training, the chance for promotions, flexible work conditions and working from home.

The 2023 EmployerOne survey also asks employers what barriers they face in bringing in or enhancing quality of work practices. “Some employers may have things in place that other businesses can learn from,” Dalton said.

Information and results from past EmployerOne surveys can be found by visiting this Page.

This Employment Ontario project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

More residents active in area labour force

More residents active in area labour force

December 2022 employment numbers saw Brantford-Brant’s labour force swell in size, resulting in a higher jobless rate when not everyone was able to find jobs.

The Brantford area’s unemployment rate climbed to 5.8% last month, up from November’s 5.2%, based on estimates from Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey. Norfolk County’s unemployment rate stood at 7.5% in December, higher than recent months but below that of one year ago.

Across Canada, December 2022 employment grew by 104,000, dropping the national jobless rate to an even 5%. Ontario gained 43,000 jobs and the provincial monthly rate fell to 5.3%.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie says concern over the Brantford area’s higher unemployment is eased by a growth in the employment and participation rates.

Labour force participation

“The percentage of people participating in the local labour force is at a 2 1/2 -year high, which is healthy to see,” said Executive Director Danette Dalton. “And the local employment rate remains strong, just off the 3-year high we saw a couple months ago.”

Brantford’s unemployment rate is similar to that of London and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, but higher than Hamilton and St. Catharines-Niagara.

However, Brantford has the highest labour force participation rate of surrounding communities, at 69.5%. Next closest is the Kitchener area’s 69%. Canada and Ontario both have a participation rate of 64.9%.

The Workforce Planning Board is urging local employers to complete its EmployerOne survey this month to help the community gain a fuller picture of the local labour market.

Survey link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/E12023

Hiring often slows down during December, something that is reflected in the latest numbers from Grand Erie Jobs. There were about 2,150 new job postings last month, down more than 500 from November.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on December 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

October is Manufacturing Month

October is Manufacturing Month

October is Manufacturing Month, celebrating a key industry that provides thousands of jobs in the Grand Erie region.

About 1.7 million people work in manufacturing across Canada, over half of those jobs in Ontario – the country’s manufacturing heartland.

Manufacturing is the No. 1 employer in our area, with almost 800 businesses employing 15,800 people in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Local companies make an amazing array of products, some of which are household names and brands that people buy every day. Think bread, chocolates, chicken nuggets, frozen waffles, hockey sticks, air fresheners, house paint, barbecues, cat litter, drywall, windows, kitchen cabinets, LED lighting – to name a few.

Other products are for special uses or niches. Think truck trailers, forestry equipment, neon signs, cabinetry for grocery stores, playground equipment, vinyl siding, swimming pool liners.

Other products are used as a part of others. Think auto parts, steel, pharmaceutical products, recycled rubber, cement wall panels, building supplies, industrial pumps, plastic hoses.

October will be celebrated as Manufacturing Month in North America, with Oct. 1 marked as Manufacturing Day in many areas.

In the past, manufacturers have thrown open their doors to tours, giving students and other visitors a behind-the-scenes look at what they make and the types of jobs they hire for.

The October Manufacturing Month tours are a way for companies to showcase their products, people and jobs, and to dispel commonly held myths about what it is like to work in manufacturing.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie has previously organized tours of local manufacturers and has produced a dozen videos about careers at local companies (see the resource section below).

Today’s manufacturing is a lot different than 30 or 50 years ago.

The days of workers standing at a production line, doing mind-numbing repetitive tasks, in a loud, dirty factory are largely past.

Today, production is highly automated, with computers, robots and cutting-edge technology heavily used. Companies value innovation, looking for better ways of doing things and creating new products.

Advanced Manufacturing, which uses new technologies, is a rapidly growing part of the industry.

Manufacturing offers a large variety of jobs, covering dozens of occupations, types of work and skill levels, from entry level positions to the most senior and experienced.

And while men have traditionally made up the bulk of people working in production and skilled trades roles in manufacturing, more women are entering the industry.

TYPES OF JOBS: Jobs can range from machine operator to office staff, packagers, salespeople, welders, millwrights, material handlers, computer programmers, engineers, designers, researchers, chemists, quality control specialists, health and safety experts.

JOB SKILLS: Skills used in manufacturing jobs also vary. Among the skills highly valued by businesses are: problem solving, critical thinking, team work, good communication, attention to detail, customer service and people skills. Learning to work safely is also important. Each occupation may have its own set of technical skills, from operating CNC machines to blueprint reading, programming robots and repairing equipment. And like all businesses, companies need people who are reliable and show up for work on time.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Businesses hire people who haven’t finished high school up to PhDs, depending on the role. Many companies offer on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or send workers to specialized training. Many companies provide opportunities for their staff to upgrade their skills and may help pay for their courses.

OPPORTUNITIES: Many companies regularly hire to fill open positions. Some increase their hiring to meet a large order or to fill seasonal demands. Companies like to promote from within, providing opportunities for advancement to employees who demonstrate a strong work ethic, a desire to learn, and a commitment to the business. There may be further opportunities as some older workers retire.

Find Out More

We Make It Here: A dozen videos produced by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie that showcase local companies, the products they make and the people that make them.

Grand Erie Jobs: This online job board is the best source to find local manufacturing jobs, or to learn about specific manufacturing occupations or companies.

Local Training and Education

Skills2Advance Welding: Free job training program that prepares people to enter the welding trade in the Grand Erie region.

Conestoga College: College courses for manufacturing, including skilled trades and manufacturing management, plus continuing education courses.

Fanshawe College, Simcoe/Norfolk Regional Campus: College courses in welding and office administration, plus a number of continuing education courses.

Six Nations Polytechnic: Training for welders and machinists.

Mohawk College: College courses for manufacturing, including skilled trades, engineering and robotics training, plus continuing education courses.

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