Jobless rate up 1.5 points

London suffers third straight labour market setback ahead of reopening

DESPITE THE ADDITION of 1,000 new jobs in the region, the unemployment rate for London-St. Thomas rose significantly to 9.7 per cent in May, up from 8.2 per cent in April, according numbers released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

It’s the third consecutive month for a jump in the rate, and the second in a row with a significant climb.

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May’s unemployment rate is also the highest since August 2020 for the London region, which includes St. Thomas, Strathroy and portions of Elgin and Middlesex counties.

Despite May’s jobless rate jump, there were still some positive signs included in Friday’s Statistics Canada report.

The data shows the labour force increased by 6,200. The number of people with jobs increased by 1,000, while the number of people who claimed unemployment insurance because they are actively looking for work increased by 5,200.

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The region’s participation rate – measures the proportion of the working-age population that is working or looking for work – also continues to edge up and is now 66.2 per cent, a big improvement from the 57.3 per cent recorded in June of 2019, the lowest among major Canadian metropolitan areas.

Provincially, the unemployment rate also went up in May to 9.3 per cent from April’s nine per cent.

Nationally, the economy lost 68,000 jobs in May, Statistics Canada reports. That adds to the 207,100 positions lost in April. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 per cent, from 8.1 per cent. Jobless rate up 1.5 points jobless Workforce

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