Brantford area job market holds steady

Brantford area job market holds steady

March 2024 employment figures showed the Brantford-Brant and Norfolk labour markets are holding steady.

The Brantford-Brant jobless rate stood still for the third straight month at 4.9% in March, according to Statistics Canada’s estimates, based on its monthly survey of local households.

Meanwhile, Norfolk’s unemployment rate was estimated to be 4.6% in March, the first time in six months a figure has been released. Statistics Canada doesn’t release some figures when there isn’t enough data. March’s rate was almost identical to the 4.5% reported last September.

Population changes continue to be the No. 1 factor influencing the labour markets at the national and provincial level, but less so locally.

Canada’s unemployment rate jumped in March by 0.3% to 6.1% – the largest increase in months – though employment only fell by an estimated 2,200 across the country. Ontario’s jobless rate climbed to 6.7%, even though 26,000 more people were working.

Brantford 2024 employment figures showed that about 400 more people were working last month, continuing slow but steady employment growth since last summer. Employment has grown by an estimated 3,500 since August, but is almost identical to March 2023 when about 79,500 people were employed.

“These numbers don’t spark great excitement and, sure, we would have liked to see more job growth,” said Danette Dalton, the workforce planning board’s executive director.

“But the fact that we’ve held steady while the population has grown is a positive. Our labour market has been able to absorb population growth, replacing workers leaving the workforce with new people.”

Dalton added that in many other communities, including most of those surrounding Brantford-Brant and Norfolk, employment gains have lagged behind population growth.

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

Local unemployment rate continues to fall

Local unemployment rate continues to fall

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.

Brantford jobless rate mirrors that of Canada

Brantford jobless rate mirrors that of Canada

April 2023 employment numbers saw Brantford-Brant’s jobless rate reach its lowest level in six months.

The area’s unemployment rate dropped to 5% in April, down from March’s 5.3%, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by Statistics Canada. It’s the lowest jobless figure since last October.

The Brantford unemployment rate matches the national rate of 5% and is just off Ontario’s 4.9%. Employment increased by 33,000 in Ontario in April, the bulk of Canada’s total 41,000 job gains.

Several nearby communities within a 1-hour drive have a lower jobless rate than Brantford-Brant, but only one – Guelph – has a higher employment rate.

“When you compare last month’s numbers to April 2022, you see that the number of people in Brantford’s labour force has grown by about 5,000 people in 12 months,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“That’s impressive. Even more impressive is that almost all of those people found jobs.”

Women see more job gains

Women saw a greater share of Brantford-Brant’s employment growth over the last year, adding about 2,300 full-time and 1,000 part-time positions. Employment for men grew by about 600 full-time and 1,100 part-time positions.

Women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 saw the most employment gains, while most of the gains for men were in the 55 to 64 age group. Employment declined for men in the 25 to 54 age group year over year, according too unadjusted figures from Statistics Canada.

There were about 2,700 new postings in April on Grand Erie Jobs, the Workforce Planning Board’s online job board, down about 5% from March. Postings came from about 1,100 different employers.

Tigercat Industries, which has plants in Brantford and Paris, had the largest number of new job posts last month. The other Top-5 employers for postings were all from the public sector, including a school board, hospital and a municipal government.

There is evidence that demand for employees will continue in 2023. Seventy-seven per cent of the 250 Grand Erie businesses who completed the Workforce Planning Board’s EmployerOne survey in January said they anticipate hiring in 2023. That percentage increased to 91% for Brantford based employers.

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

Local unemployment rate sees big decline

Local unemployment rate sees big decline

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.

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:

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.

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