Nor­folk job­less rate 8.9%

The Delhi News-Record - - FRONT PAGE - VIN­CENT BALL

In Nor­folk, the lo­cal job­less rate rose to 8.9 per cent in Septem­ber, up four per­cent­age points from the 4.9 per cent es­ti­mated for the same month in 2017, ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates re­leased by Sta­tis­tics Canada on Fri­day.

The na­tional un­em­ploy­ment rate dropped to 5.9 per cent in Septem­ber af­ter an es­ti­mated 63,000 pre­dom­i­nantly part-time jobs were cre­ated. The in­crease re­verses a loss in part-time work a month ear­lier.

On­tario’s job­less rate was also 5.9 per cent last month.

While the na­tional and pro­vin­cial un­em­ploy­ment rate sta­tis­tics are re­leased monthly, Nor­folk’s num­bers come out ev­ery three months.

A deeper look at Nor­folk’s num­bers show a mixed pic­ture year over year.

“Peo­ple had enough con­fi­dence in the Nor­folk econ­omy to join the labour force, which in­cludes peo­ple work­ing and look­ing for work,” said Jill Ha­lyk, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Work­force Plan­ning Board of Grand Erie. “It’s safe to as­sume that some peo­ple work­ing part­time a year ago moved into full­time po­si­tions.

“But not everyone join­ing the labour force found work, caus­ing the un­em­ploy­ment rate to climb so the news over­all is mixed.”

The Nor­folk labour force grew by 1,200 peo­ple over the last 12 months and the num­ber of full­time jobs grew the same num­ber. How­ever, 1,300 part-time jobs were lost, she added.

Full-time work ac­counted for 86 per cent of Nor­folk jobs in Septem­ber with part-time jobs ac­count­ing for the balance.

In Brant­ford-Brant, the job mar­ket shows signs of sta­bil­ity but a shrink­ing labour force and lack of job ap­pli­cants are con­cerns, said Ha­lyk.

“Lo­cal busi­ness of all kinds are hav­ing a hard time re­plac­ing re­tir­ing workers and they say they’re not get­ting ap­pli­cants for open­ings,” she said.

“Man­u­fac­tur­ers con­tinue to have a strong need for em­ploy­ees at dif­fer­ent skill lev­els, from gen­eral labourer up to skilled trades.”

Vis­its to 10 com­pa­nies dur­ing the fourth an­nual Man­u­fac­tur­ing Day tour showed that all are look­ing for em­ploy­ees and most have a short­age of ap­pli­cants, Ha­lyk said.

“Our re­search shows that job seek­ers some­time lack con­fi­dence in their own abil­i­ties and ex­pe­ri­ence, think­ing they shouldn’t ap­ply if they don’t meet ev­ery sin­gle re­quire­ment asked for in a job ad,” Ha­lyk said. “Three out of four busi­nesses say they’re will­ing to train peo­ple to gain those skills.”

The num­ber of peo­ple in Brant­ford-Brant’s labour force – those ei­ther work­ing or look­ing for work – has shrunk by 3,200 since Septem­ber 2017, largely due to re­tire­ments, Ha­lyk said.

Mean­while, the Brant­ford-Brant un­em­ploy­ment rate was 5.8 per cent in Septem­ber, up from five per cent in Au­gust. An es­ti­mated 4,200 peo­ple were un­em­ployed in Septem­ber, al­most iden­ti­cal to the num­ber from one year ear­lier, fig­ures pro­vided by Sta­tis­tics Canada say.

The plan­ning board is one of 26 non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions funded through the On­tario gov­ern­ment that play a lead­er­ship role in labour force plan­ning.

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