The unemployment rate for the Stratford-Bruce Peninsula economic region was up 0.3 per cent to 4.3 per cent in November, the fourth consecutive monthly increase since the record low in July.
Over the same period, the unemployment rate in Ontario fell by 0.5 per cent to 5.2 per cent. The local labour pool grew by 3,000 people in November.
“This is good news for our local employers as we have been experiencing a tight labour market over the last several months," says Gemma Mendez-Smith, executive director of the Four County Labour Market Planning Board. "More people engaged in workforce activities could mean more jobs being filled.”
The economic region saw net new jobs of 2,500 in November, continuing an upward trend that began in May of 2017. Nearly all of the increase was in full-time work (plus 2,200).
In November, the goods-producing sector increased by 1,900 jobs. The largest gains were in agriculture (plus 2,000) and construction (plus 500), whereas manufacturing saw the biggest losses (minus 700).
Employment in the services-producing sector saw a small increase of 600 in November. More people were working in transportation and warehousing (plus 900), wholesale and retail trade (plus 700), as well as education services (plus 500). At the same time, employment fell in business, building and other support services (minus 1,000) and accommodation and food services (minus 400).
On a positive note for the area, the Bluewater District School Board hired 22 elementary school teachers and four early childhood educators owing to an increase in enrollment. Abraflex held its grand opening in Paisley and estimates there is room for 200 employees and will hire as demand grows.
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. opened an office in Port Elgin in anticipation of Bruce Power’s life-extension project scheduled to begin in 2020. The location is expected to employ around 35 people.
Meanwhile, the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital recruited six new physicians to Goderich. Blyth Part II Bistro restaurant will open a location in Goderich. Mudtown Station brewpub is slated to open in March, 2018, in Owen Sound.
Employers in Bruce, Grey, Huron and Perth counties can help the planning board continue to understand their workforce needs by completing the EmployerOne survey, available between January 1-31, 2018. Through this data, many local initiatives were implemented based on the needs of employers.
Note: Statistics Canada’s monthly Labour Force Survey provides estimates of employment and unemployment, based on a sampling of households in communities. Stratford-Bruce Peninsula figures represent a three-month moving average, unadjusted for seasonality.