Brantford area job market stands out

Brantford area job market stands out

February 2024 employment numbers show the Brantford area labour market continues to be a bit of an anomaly compared to some of its neighbours, as well as Ontario and Canada.

To begin with, the Brantford-Brant jobless rate was unchanged in February, at 4.9%, while it increased in Hamilton, St. Catharines-Niagara, London, Ontario and Canada, according to Statistics Canada’s seasonally adjusted figures released Friday.

Canada’s jobless rate inched up to 5.8%, despite 41,000 job gains, while Ontario’s climbed to 6.5%.

Within a one-hour commute, only Guelph had a lower February unemployment rate than Brantford. And only Brantford has seen a jobless rate below 5% for 6 months straight.

“It’s tricky comparing the labour markets of communities, since each have some unique characteristics, types of employers and workers,” said Danette Dalton, the Planning Board’s executive director. “Still, it’s a strength that Brantford has been able to buck some trends for months.”

A second anomaly in Brantford’s labour market over the last six months has been the relationship between population growth and employment growth, Dalton said.

The main storyline regarding the labour force for months nationally and provincially has been that population growth has outpaced employment growth. Since August, Canada’s working age population (those who are 15+ in age) has swelled by 527,000, while employment has grown by 183,000.

Ontario’s working age population has grown by 236,000 since August, but employment is only up 4,400, according to Statistics Canada’s February 2024 employment numbers.

Among neighbouring labour markets, only Brantford and Guelph have had employment gains above their population growth. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo job gains match population growth, but Hamilton, London and St. Catharines-Niagara have lagged behind.

 “It’s a positive that Brantford’s employment gains have surged. Hopefully, that trend continues, and job seekers and employers gain greater confidence in the local economy,” Dalton said.

About 1,400 employers in Grand Erie were looking to hire in February, up 17% from January, according to Grand Erie Jobs, the planning board’s community online job board. However, actual postings were down slightly to 1,900.

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

Jobless rate remains lowest in wider area

Jobless rate remains lowest in wider area

July 2023 employment figures showed the Grand Erie region tied for the second lowest jobless rate in Ontario.

The Brantford area unemployment rate rose to 4.2% last month, up from June’s 3.9%, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released by Statistics Canada.

The national rate rose slightly to 5.5%, while Ontario’s unemployment rate shrunk 0.1 point to 5.6%.

Brantford continues to boast the lowest jobless rate compared to surrounding census metropolitan areas, with Guelph following closely behind at 4.4%.

Youth participation and employment both increased, but this was offset by significant decreases amongst core working age and older adults. Both full and part-time employment decreased month over month.

“We’re seeing a growing number of older adults leave the labour force, which creates more job openings, but many of these are hard to fill because there’s a limited labour supply,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie’s executive director.

“For the past few months, we’ve observed increases in the number of core-working aged adults not in the labour force, and we need to strategize ways to support these individuals by addressing obstacles that deter them from looking for work.

“We recently completed an in-depth study designed to better understand how workers can be supported through improving quality of work across workplaces. We observed major gaps in how employers and employees viewed job quality, but also, significant opportunities for collaborations between sectors, governments, community agencies and workers.”

The WPBGE’s latest report Examining Quality of Work in Grand Erie: an assessment of needs, gaps and opportunities’ is set to be released later this month. The report will be posted to this website.

The Grand Erie Jobs online job board saw about 2350 new postings in July, down slightly from June. The retail trade industry maintained the largest number of postings – namely for retail salespersons, followed by the health care and social assistance, waste management and educational services sectors.

There were also a large number of postings for material handlers, other customer and information service representatives and personal support workers, as well as for university professors and lecturers.

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


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