Guelph’s unemployment charge sinks to three-year low

Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate in Guelph dipped to 3.2 per cent in July, but the national picture isn’t too pleasing with the Canadian labor market still tight with over a million job vacancies

Guelph’s unemployment rate has reached a level not seen in over three years.

Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 per cent last month locally, its lowest point since March 2019, when it was at 2.6 per cent.

Last month’s rate is also a five per cent drop year-over-year, when it was at 8.2 per cent in July 2021.

“Guelph typically finds itself with the lowest unemployment rates in the country,” said Christine Chapman, manager of economic development and tourism with the city, noting last month’s rate puts Guelph third lowest in Canada.

She said in addition to a comparatively high participation rate – which ranks second highest in the country – and steady population growth, “overall Guelph’s labor market continues to be high performing.”

The national unemployment rate remains at a historic low of 4.9 per cent for a second straight month, dating back to when comparable data started in 1976.

But the jobless rate is only one part of the story. The other is showing a continuing trend of job losses, with the economy losing 31,000 jobs last month, after losing 43,000 jobs in June.

Brendon Bernard, a senior economist with Indeed, tells The Canadian Press it looks as if the employment recovery has shifted to a “more neutral gear.”

Among the notables from the latest report, employment in the public sector dropped by 51,000, mostly in Ontario and Quebec. Year-over-year, public sector employment rose by 5.3 per cent, or up to 215,000.

Meantime, while the number of self-employed people rose by 34,000 last month, the rate stayed flat year-over-year and 214,000 less than what was seen in February 2020.

There’s also “little indication” the current market conditions are leading to more people thinking about leaving or switching jobs.

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