Regional unemployment rate continues to drop

PERTH COUNTY – Based on the data released by the Four County Labour Market Planning Board last week, it appears the region is recovering very well from the pandemic.

The Planning Board released the region’s July unemployment data on Aug. 6, which shows the local unemployment rate now sits at 3.6 per cent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from June.

The region’s unemployment rate is also one of the lowest in the province.

The province’s unemployment rate for July was 8.9 per cent, a slight decrease from nine per cent in June.

All of the above rates are unadjusted for seasonality.

The Planning Board data shows the labour force increased by 3,300 people between June and July, with the participation rate also increasing to 63.8 per cent from 62.6 per cent.

Overall net employment in the region increased by 3,500, with full-time gains of 3,200 and part-time gains of 300.

“This employment increase was the largest in 2021, which shows a continued recovery of the local labour market, highly possibly caused by Stage 2 reopening and its relaxing rules,” stated a press release from the Planning Board.

The number of goods-producing sector employees increased by 1,400. The main driving force came from positive gains in agriculture (1,600) and manufacturing (900). The biggest loss in the goods-producing sector was in construction (-800).

Employment in the services-producing sector also increased by 2,100. The greatest gains came from wholesale and retail trade (2,300), which was its second consecutive increase in 2021. Those gains, along with gains of 1,400 from other services (except public administration) offset the losses from educational services (-1,600).

“Although we see an increasing labour pool and employment growth, the region is still in need of workers,” said Gemma Mendez-Smith, executive director of the Four County Labour Market Planning Board. “Employers from our top employment sectors like manufacturing, construction and agriculture continue to echo the absolute need for workers in their respective fields.”