Local unemployment ticks up in March

The Four-County Labor Market Planning Board released March local employment numbers for the Stratford to Bruce Peninsula economic region.

According to their figures, the local unemployment rate climbed 1.3% to 5.9% last month. It was the region’s highest monthly unemployment rate since April 2021. Provincewide, the unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 5.3 per cent, both figures not adjusted for seasonal factors.

The region’s overall net employment rose by 700, with full-time gains of 1,700 and part-time losses of 1,000. The region’s workforce size increased from 160,700 in February 2023 to 163,700 in March 2023.

The number of employees employed in goods-producing sectors increased by a net 1,900 for the month. Utilities again saw the biggest gains this month (+1,700), followed by construction (+1,400). Manufacturing lost the most this month (-700), followed by agriculture (-200).

Employment in the service-producing sector fell by a net 1,300. Professional, scientific and technical services again suffered the biggest losses this month (-2,600), followed by accommodation and food services (-2,200). Wholesale and retail trade again posted the largest gains this month (+2,400), followed by health care and social assistance (+2,300).

“We’ve seen positive growth in the goods-producing sector this month, and while our unemployment rate has risen, we continue to see losses in the service-producing sector,” said Dana Soucie, executive director of the four-county Labor Market Planning Council. “We will continue to monitor these changes as we investigate migration trends and how it relates to our ability to fill job vacancies in the hardest-hit industries.”

Current jobs in the Bruce, Gray, Huron, Perth region have increased overtime hours since the pandemic and can be found at: http://www.connect2JOBS.ca.

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