Job numbers stayed steady in September

Job numbers stayed steady in September

September 2023 employment numbers showed that the Brantford area job market held steady last month and even recovered some recent lost ground.

Brantford-Brant’s jobless rate last month was 4.7%, a small drop from August’s 4.8%, according to Statistics Canada’s seasonally adjusted numbers. Norfolk’s job numbers showed the jobless rate hovering around 4.5% over the last few months.

Canadian employment grew by 64,000 in September, though the national jobless rate remained unchanged at 5.5%. Ontario added some jobs but the unemployment rate still nudged up to 6%.

September 2023 employment statistics showed that Brantford area has the lowest unemployment rate compared to the nearby communities of Hamilton, St. Catharines-Niagara, London, Guelph and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo.

After shrinking in recent months, the overall size of the labour pool increased in Brantford in September.

“Hopefully the number of people who are active in the labour force, working or looking for work, continues to improve, reversing the recent negative trend,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “It’s good to remind people that there are many opportunities out there.”

A Fall Job Fair with about 35 businesses who are hiring is taking place Oct. 11 at Brantford’s Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre. The job fair is organized by three local employment centres and the Workforce Planning Board.

Job seekers who go to the job fair are being encouraged to dress to impress employers and to bring their resumes, as some employers will be doing on-the-spot interviews.

September saw more than 2,300 new job postings appear on Grand Erie Jobs, the community’s job board operated by the Workforce Planning Board.

The average wage listed in job posts was about $24 an hour in September, which was similar to recent months but $1.80 more than September 2022.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read their report on September 2023 employment-related figures for 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.

Ontario Agriculture Week – Spotlight on Grand Erie

Ontario Agriculture Week – Spotlight on Grand Erie

It’s Ontario Agriculture Week from October 3rd to the 9th and there is plenty to celebrate about this important sector! The week is a time to showcase all the amazing things happening in the industry and our connection to where our food comes from – so let’s raise a fork to the food we love and the people who produce it! 

The agriculture and agri-food sector is a major contributor to the Canadian economy comprised of primary agriculture (farmers) and food and beverage processing, and also includes foodservice providers, as well as food retailers and wholesalers who are the link between food production and consumers. 

In 2021, the whole agriculture and agri-food system employed 2.1 million people, provided 1 in 9 jobs in Canada, and generated $134.9 billion (around 6.8%) of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). Of that, primary agriculture carried out by farmers and which is defined as work performed within the boundaries of a farm, nursery or greenhouse, accounted for 241,500 jobs in Canada and $31.9 billion in GDP across 189,874 farms. 

Agriculture in the Grand Erie region…

There are 3564 agri-food businesses in Grand Erie region. Agriculture, combined with forestry, fishing and hunting, is the 2nd biggest industry in the Grand Erie region.

Grand Erie top 3 Agriculture subsectors are as follows:

  1. Crop production – 1844 businesses
  2. Animal production and aquaculture – 599 businesses
  3. Food service and drinking places – 502 businesses

The 2021 Census showed there were 3735 farm operators (down from 4,030 in 2016) in the Grand Erie region operating 2620 farms (down from 2860 in 2016). Around 40% of farms are under 70 acres, 47% are between 70 and 399 acres, 8% are between 400 and 759 acres and 6% are over 760 acres. Based on 894 farms that reported on number of employees, a total of 10,727 individuals were employed including temporary foreign workers.

Largely comprised of rural communities, the Grand Erie region has a diverse agricultural industry and its farms make up 5.42% of all farms across Ontario. Primary agriculture which relates directly to farming, includes crops, livestock, greenhouses and nurseries, as well as, farmer’s markets, farm equipment repair shops, wine and cider production, grain drying operations and livestock auctions is abundant in the Grand Erie region.

While the number of smaller farms shrunk between 2016 and 202, Grand Erie gained 7 large farms (2240 acres and higher) indicating that operations are merging in response to the shrinking number of farm operators.

Farms by industry group in Grand Erie:

  • Oilseed and grain – 1175 farms
  • Beef and cattle ranching and farming – 189 farms
  • Vegetable and melon farming – 188 farms
  • Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture – 143 farms
  • Poultry and egg production – 113 farms
  • Dairy cattle and milk production – 105 farms

In 2021, Grand Erie grew over 6 million kgs of fruit, 34 million kgs of vegetables, 15 kgs of grain, and 30 million kgs of livestock products. Top fruits include apples, strawberries and pears. Top vegetables are potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, onion and lettuce. Chicken, beef, eggs and dairy are top livestock products. 

County of Brant: 77% of lands in the County of Brant are considered to be prime agricultural lands. Additionally, the County of Brant is home to various businesses with on-farm diversified uses such as bakeries, seasonal tourism events related to the agricultural area (petting zoo, corn maze, ziplining, wine tasting etc.), and educational & commercial activities directly related to local farming.

Brantford: Aside from deep roots in agricultural equipment manufacturing, local farm fresh stores are popular in Brantford and operations such as Brantwood Farms have adapted to receive customers year round at their farm shops and special events.

Haldimand County: Agriculture has a long history in Haldimand County. Family farms have been a staple to the local economy for generations, specializing in crop production, animal production and aquaculture. Haldimand County invites people to visit their farmers markets to learn how important agriculture is to the local economy and appreciate networks of local food producers.

Norfolk County: Norfolk County promotes itself as Ontario’s Garden and according to the 2016 census, there were 1,860 farm operators working 1,307 farms in Norfolk County, with total land in crops of 196,403 acres. Norfolk County farmers are Canada’s leading growers of asparagus, cabbage, tart cherries, ginseng, peppers, pumpkins, rye, squash and zucchini, strawberries, and other vegetables. Livestock makes up an important part of Norfolk County agriculture which include pigs, cattle and calves, goats, sheep and lambs and honeybee colonies. Employing the highest number of employees on its farms (7,619), Norfolk County farmers received more than $519 million in total gross farm revenue in the year prior to the 2016 census.

Six Nations of the Grand River: Corn, beans and squash are called “The Three Sisters” in Indigenous farming and were traditionally inter-planted because they thrive together – as well as providing balanced nutrition. To create community awareness surrounding Indigenous agriculture, Six Nations recently launched their “Revitalizing Our Sustenance Project” in May of 2020 during the beginning summer months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Agri-tourism has been a growing industry across the Grand Erie region – from farm crawls to guided tours of micro-breweries, farmers markets and farm to table experiences, companies such as Ride the Bine, Red Apple Tours provide visitors and locals with tailored experiences at local agri-businesses.

Future outlook of Agriculture in Grand Erie…

According to StatCan’s Census of Agriculture data – of the 4, 030 farm operators in Grand Erie, about 55 % are 55 years or older, compared to 49% in 2011. 1,435 are between the age of 35-54 and only 375 were under the age of 35. With many agricultural workers opting to retire early, shortages of workers, including migrant workers, are creating a high demand for skilled equipment operators to support the local industry and it is increasingly important to consider how and by whom these newly vacant positions will be filled.

With the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie as one of its several partners, Conestoga College recently developed a 16 week Agricultural Equipment Operator Program. Completion of the program positions graduates to successfully enter a wide variety of agricultural operations.

Other local agricultural training institutions include the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) of the University of Guelph. At its Ridgetown Campus, obtaining an Associate Diploma in Agriculture provides individuals with the training to manage a farm, work for a global agribusiness, finance agricultural innovation, advance new crop and livestock genetics, or work in advancing agriculture technology.

Fanshawe College offers an Agri-Business Management Program at its Simcoe campus, which equips graduates with understanding business fundamentals and industry specific training in agricultural production. Students gain knowledge in how to manage each step of the supply chain from farm to table and everything in between, with new technological advances and sustainable practices.

 

 

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.

Translate »

Help Us Serve You Better

We are collecting data to better understand who is looking for work and what kind of opportunities jobseekers are searching for. This data is completely anonymous and non-personally identifiable.

Your Age: