Good news… for now

Job levels in London buck provincial and national trends and return to pre-pandemic level in December

THE LONDON REGION’S unemployment rate has dropped for the second straight month and to a level not seen since the start of the pandemic.

According to figures released Friday by Statistics Canada, the jobless rate for the London Census Metropolitan Area fell to 7.7 per cent in December, down from 8.4 per cent in November.

Roughly 3,700 jobs were added to the London region, which includes St. Thomas, Strathroy, and other surrounding communities. Statistics Canada said the labour force grew by 1,900.

The participation rate, which reflects the percentage of working-age individuals employed or looking for work, rose slightly to 61.7 per cent in December, from 61.4 per cent the previous month.

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The number of people employed reached a total of 260,200.

“Since March 2020, when the first lockdown occurred, London’s economy has recorded the second fastest and most robust recovery in all of Ontario with respect to jobs, Mayor Ed Holder said in a statement. “This is a testament to the dedication, and ingenuity of our local employers and the work ethic of Londoners.”

Across the province, Ontario lost 11,900 jobs in December. The provincial unemployment rate went up to 9.5 per cent in December from 9.1 per cent in November.

Nationally, the unemployment rate raised a percentage point to 8.6 per cent, from 8.5 per cent in November, and Ontario’s jobless rate climbed to 9.5 per cent in December.

While the local numbers bode well for the resiliency of the area’s economy, what remains to be seen is the resulting impact of recent Covid-19 measures. Stats Can conducted the survey between December 6 and 12, prior to London and Middlesex County entering a tighter level of public-health restrictions and subsequent provincewide lockdown that commenced on Boxing Day. Good news... for now job Workforce

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