Region’s unemployment rate jumps to 4.3 per cent in July

WALKERTON – In July, the unemployment rate for the Stratford-Bruce Peninsula Economic Region increased by 0.3 percentage points to 4.3 per cent, now tied for the third lowest in Ontario with the Kingston-Pembroke region.

The provincial unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 5.5 per cent, both unadjusted for seasonality.

Overall net employment in the region increased by 2,900, with full-time gains (+6,500) and part-time losses (-3,600).

The number of goods-producing sector employees increased by net 1,000. The main driving force came from gains in construction (+1,300) followed by agriculture (+700). Utilities experienced the biggest loss (-900).

Employment in the services-producing sector increased by net 1,900. Healthcare and social assistance experienced gains (+1,300) followed closely by wholesale and retail trade (+1,200). Educational services experienced the biggest loss (-700).

“The inability for employers to retain and attract workers to fill vacancies is at an all-time high,” said Dana Soucie, executive director for the Four County Labour Market Planning Board.

“With the 10-year chronic low unemployment rate, this is not a new challenge to our regions but one that has gotten far worse as the labour market continues to shrink and change landscapes. New and innovative solutions will be needed to address critical shortages, avoid the loss of businesses and critical care services for our regions.”