November job figures among Ontario’s best

November job figures among Ontario’s best

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.

Local jobless rate equals Ontario’s best

Local jobless rate equals Ontario’s best

June 2023 employment numbers saw Brantford-Brant in a three-way tie for Ontario’s lowest jobless rate.

June saw the area’s unemployment rate fall to 3.9%, down from 4.1% in May, according to Statistics Canada’s estimates released on Friday. Meanwhile, Norfolk County’s jobless rate for June was 4.5%, almost the same as one year ago.

Brantford-Brant was tied with Kingston and Thunder Bay with 3.9% jobless rates. Among nearby communities, the lowest rate was Guelph’s 4.2%. Hamilton’s unemployment rate was 5%, while Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge was 6.2%.

Employment grew by 60,000 across Canada last month, but the jobless rate still climbed to 5.4% because more people searched for work. It was a similar story at the provincial level, as Ontario’s rate increased to 5.7%, despite employment being up 56,000.

“The local job market continues to be strong, with companies expanding and many active construction projects,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“Yet, at the same time, the number of people not in the labour force, from students to older adults, is the highest in more than 6 months. There are many potential workers we need to engage with to get them participating.”

People not in the labour force

The number of local adults 15 and over not in the labour force, meaning they were neither employed nor unemployed, was 40,400 in June, up more than 5,000 from last December.

“Some of those people were working over the winter but aren’t now. It’s unclear why,” Dalton said.

There were more than 2,700 job vacancies in June on Grand Erie Jobs, the area’s largest online job board, which is operated by the Workforce Planning Board. In total, there were 4,500 active job postings last month, with 1,500 employers looking to hire.

Retail salesperson is the No. 1 job in demand, while transport truck drivers, material handlers and customer service representatives were also heavily advertised for in June. There were also a large number of postings in education, from elementary school teachers to university lecturers.

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

Quality of Work – New Local Survey

Quality of Work – New Local Survey

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie has launched a new survey that is digging into how people perceive quality of work at their current or past workplaces.

Quality of work typically refers to a combination of things like a job’s income and benefits, job security, chance for promotion, opportunities to use skills, workplace culture and more.

For the last few years, our annual employer survey results have highlighted the growing obstacles that businesses face in finding and retaining suitable employees. Turnover triggered by quits, workplace culture and lack of work-life balance has been increasing and this has significant impacts on business operations.

With the added volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to better understand the factors that influence quality of work, and to scope out the opportunities, challenges and barriers to supporting the Grand Erie labour market.

We will be examining the “quality of work” amongst workers within six industries in the Grand Erie area (healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, construction, manufacturing, accommodation and food services and agriculture.) The research will be carried out through a workforce survey that will measure the quality of work along 6 dimensions defined by Statistics Canada.

With this survey, we want to better understand what people value in a job, the workplace and their leaders. It is important to hear from workers, what attracts them to apply for a job and to stay in a job.

Many employers are experiencing labour shortages and they are competing for workers. Having a reputation of providing a good work culture and jobs can make a business stand out. The survey should help businesses, community organizations and local government learn more about what workers value in a workplace, and could prompt changes that strengthen quality of work.

Employers may learn what improvements or best practices they can implement in their workplace to give workers a stronger incentive to stay. And a good quality of work and work-life balance at a workplace can be a big selling point to potential new hires.

Individuals who complete the survey may find themselves better equipped to open up conversations with their managers about how their work quality can be enhanced. Results may also help those looking for work to identify industries that best support their quality of work goals.

Further, data collected through this survey can help community organizations/government develop better, more targeted programs and services to support our workforce’s needs.

The survey, which takes about 15 minutes to complete, is open to employees and job seekers 15 years and older who lives in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties and will be running until September of this year. Those who complete the survey will have a chance to win a prize in a weekly draw.

The research project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre, a forward-looking organization that prototypes, tests and measures new and innovative approaches to skills development across Canada. To learn more about Future Skills Centre, visit:

Thank you to our survey sponsors:

Brantford area jobless rate falls to 5.5%

Brantford area jobless rate falls to 5.5%

February 2022 employment numbers saw Brantford matching the 5.5% jobless rate recorded in Canada and Ontario.

About 800 more people were employed in the Brantford area last month, which led to the jobless rate falling a full percentage point from January’s 6.5% figure, according to estimates released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

The local unemployment rate has declined for several straight months, but February was the first time recently that it fell due to employment gains. Earlier declines were due to people leaving the labour force.

“It is great to see so many more getting back to work,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board. “There are many opportunities out there for job seekers, and many businesses are frustrated they can’t find people.”

A whopping 337,000 jobs were added across Canada, with Ontario accounting for 194,000 of those gains. About 114,000 jobs were gained across the country in accommodations and food services and a further 73,000 gains in culture, information and recreation – industries particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

It was good news almost across the board for Canada in general. There were job gains for both sexes, all age groups, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and in most industries.

Brantford’s data for February 2022 employment suggest there were job gains in the service sector overall, especially in public administration, but fewer people were working in wholesale/retail trade. Employment was also down in manufacturing. Full-time employment was up overall and part-time work down slightly for both sexes, but men in the core working age group of 25-54 saw more gains.

In February, there were close to 3,000 job postings on Grand Erie Jobs, the community’s largest job board run by the Workforce Planning Board.

“There are many options for people entering the job market and there are many employers who want them,” Dalton said.

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

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