Lo­cal job­less rate up to 7%

The Expositor (Brantford) - - FRONT PAGE - SU­SAN GAM­BLE EXPOSITOR STAFF

Brant­ford-Brant’s un­em­ploy­ment rate in Novem­ber rose to seven per cent, while Canada’s rate dropped to 5.6 per cent — its low­est level since Statis­tics Canada started mea­sur­ing com­pa­ra­ble data more than 40 years ago.

The On­tario rate last month also was 5.6 per cent, Statis­tics Canada said Fri­day.

The lo­cal job­less rate was 6.2 per cent in Oc­to­ber.

The rea­son for the in­crease in un­clear, said Jill Ha­lyk, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Work­force Plan­ning Board of Grand Erie.

“We’ve looked at key in­dus­tries and they seem to be sta­ble,” Ha­lyk said Fri­day.

“The volatil­ity seems to be in re­tail, whole­sale and arts and cul­ture – things that can be sea­sonal. So, we think the is­sue seems to be as­so­ci­ated with the tourism sec­tor.”

She said she also sus­pects there is busi­ness doubts re­sult­ing from po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty.

Still, lo­cal job num­bers re­main strong, said Ha­lyk, not­ing that her of­fice hears al­most daily about how em­ploy­ers can’t seem to get enough ap­pli­cants for job open­ings.

She said the un­em­ploy­ment rate isn’t the only eco­nomic mea­sure­ment that counts.

About 1,400 peo­ple joined the lo­cal labour force in Novem­ber, which can push up the per­cent­age of peo­ple un­em­ployed, she noted. Only about half of those 1,400 peo­ple found work.

In Novem­ber, Canada added 94,000 jobs, most of them full time, which played a ma­jor role in bring­ing down the coun­try’s un­em­ploy­ment rate. On­tario added 20,000 jobs.

In Brant­ford-Brant, the un­em­ploy­ment rate has fluc­tu­ated over the last four years, mov­ing be­tween 4.2 per cent and 7.5 per cent.

Ha­lyk said the rise and fall oc­cur with the sea­sons.

And the lo­cal econ­omy is di­ver­si­fied enough to han­dle fluc­tu­a­tions, she said, adding that man­u­fac­tur­ing, trans­porta­tion and ware­hous­ing are sta­ble.

“The back­bone of our econ­omy is small and medium-sized busi­nesses.”

The Work­force Plan­ning Board is one of 26 non-profit agen­cies in On­tario, funded by the gov­ern­ment to help lead and re­port on labour force plan­ning.

Statis­tics Canada’s re­port Fri­day also said that, com­pared to 12 months ear­lier, em­ploy­ment was up 1.2 per cent fol­low­ing a net in­crease of 218,800 jobs. The ad­di­tion of 227,400 full-time po­si­tions off­set a small de­crease in part-time work.

The Novem­ber jobs re­port showed the goods-pro­duc­ing sec­tor added 26,900 jobs fol­low­ing a no­table gain of 14,800 con­struc­tion po­si­tions. The ser­vices sec­tor gen­er­ated 67,200 jobs last month with help from the ad­di­tion of 26,000 po­si­tions in pro­fes­sional, sci­en­tific and tech­ni­cal ser­vices.

By re­gion, em­ploy­ment rose in six prov­inces and was led by gains in Que­bec and Al­berta.

EXPOSITOR FILE PHOTO

Jill Ha­lyk is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Work­force Plan­ning Board of Grand Erie.

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