Monthly Labour Market Update Graphic

The latest Statistics Canada local labour market report customized for the Brantford CMA for last month is now available.

December Unemployment Rate: Brantford 5.8% [+] Ontario 5.3% [-] Canada 5.0% [-]

Be sure to review the participation rate and the employment rate (reported as percentages), as well as the labour force, the employed, and the unemployed values (reported as absolute numbers). These give a better picture of changes in the market.

Labour Market Report

The report includes annual rates for the last 10 years, comparing Brantford to surrounding CMAs as well as the provincial and national levels.

Overview from Statistics Canada


Employment rose by 104,000 (+0.5%) in December, and the unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 5.0%, just above the record low of 4.9% reached in June and July.

Employment growth was led by an increase among youth aged 15 to 24, which recouped cumulative losses observed for this group from July to September.

The number of employees increased in the private sector, while it held steady in the public sector. There were broad-based employment gains across several industries, including construction, as well as transportation and warehousing.

Employment increased in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan in December. There was little change in the other provinces.

In December, 8.1% of employees were absent due to illness or disability, up from 6.8% in November. This was higher than the pre-pandemic average of 6.9% recorded in the month of December from 2017 to 2019 (not seasonally adjusted).

Year-over-year growth in the average hourly wages of employees remained above 5% for a seventh consecutive month in December, up 5.1% (+$1.57 to $32.06) compared with December 2021 (not seasonally adjusted).

Total hours worked were little changed on a monthly basis in December, and up 1.4% compared with 12 months earlier.

As part of a Statistics Canada data collection initiative on new forms of employment, new data for December show that about 250,000 Canadians had provided ride or delivery services through an application or digital platform in the previous 12 months (population aged 16 to 69; not seasonally adjusted).

Employment increases in December

Employment rose by 104,000 (+0.5%) in December. Employment had previously peaked in May 2022, followed by a downward trend to August. As a result of cumulative gains since then, employment in December was 130,000 (+0.7%) above its May level.

Employment rises for youth and people aged 55 and older

Employment among youth aged 15 to 24 rose by 69,000 (+2.7%) in December, fully recouping the cumulative losses observed for this group from July to September (-51,000; -1.9%). There were increases in full-time work among non-students as well as increases in part-time work among students (not seasonally adjusted).

Increased employment among young men (+36,000; +2.8%) in December helped boost their employment rate to 57.8%, the highest since April 2019. While employment also increased in December among young women (+33,000; +2.6%), the share of young women who were employed remained lower in December (59.2%) than the most recent peak in May 2022 (60.7%).

Employment among those aged 55 and older increased by 31,000 (+0.7%) in December, mostly among those aged 55 to 64 (+23,000; +0.7%). The employment rate among people aged 55 and older (34.6%) was little changed on a year-over-year basis in December, indicating that employment growth for this age group has generally kept pace with the increasing population of older Canadians over this period.

Record-high employment rate for core-aged women in 2022

Following three monthly increases, employment among people in the core working ages of 25 to 54 was little changed in December. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was up among both core-aged men (+107,000; +1.6%) and core-aged women (+139,000; +2.3%).

Throughout 2022 the employment rate of core-aged women hovered around record highs. On average over the course of the year, 81.0% of core-aged women were employed, the highest annual rate on record since 1976 and 1.3 percentage points higher than in 2019.

Much of this increase has been among women with young children. On average during 2022, 75.2% of core-aged women with at least one child under 6 years of age were working at a job or business, up 3.3 percentage points compared with 2019.

Also, among core-aged women who were immigrants admitted to Canada within the previous five years, the employment rate was 69.3% on average in 2022, 9.7 percentage points above its 2019 level. As highlighted in a recent release from the 2021 Census about jobs in Canada, recent newcomers are faring better than previous cohorts in terms of certain labour market outcomes.

Full-time work up in December

The increase in employment in December was driven by full-time work (+85,000; +0.5%), which rose for a third consecutive month.

Full-time work also led employment growth over the course of the year ending in December 2022. On a year-over-year basis, employment was up by 394,000 (+2.0%), entirely due to gains in full-time work (+401,000; +2.5%).

Private sector drives employment growth in December

The number of employees in the private sector rose by 112,000 (+0.9%) in December, the largest increase since February 2022. This brought the year-over-year increase in private sector employees to 325,000 (+2.6%).

In contrast, the number of employees in the public sector and the number of self-employed workers were both little changed on a monthly and year-over-year basis in December.

More employees absent due to illness

In the context of elevated cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses in many parts of the country, 8.1% of employees were absent due to illness or disability during the LFS reference week (December 4 to 10), up from 6.8% in November. This was higher than the pre-pandemic average of 6.9% for the month of December from 2017 to 2019, but below the record high of 10.0% set in January 2022, when the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was spreading across Canada (not seasonally adjusted).

Nearly 1 in 10 workers had a hybrid work arrangement in December

In December, 9.6% of workers had a hybrid work arrangement—that is, they usually worked partly at home and partly in locations other than home. This was little changed from the proportion recorded in November (9.4%) but up 6.0 percentage points compared with January 2022. The proportion of workers who usually work exclusively at home was little changed at 15.8% in December (population aged 15 to 69, not seasonally adjusted).

Local Top Line

  • December Unemployment Rate: Brantford 5.8% [+] Ontario 5.3% [-] Canada 5.0% [-]
  • The local unemployment rate increased by 0.6 month over month.
  • The local labour force expanded by 300 month over month.
  • The number of employed decreased by 200 month over month.
  • The number of unemployed increased by 500 month over month.
  • When compared to the surrounding CMAs of Hamilton, Niagara, Waterloo, Guelph, and London, Brantford’s unemployment rate is tied for second highest.

Note:  Brantford's unemployment reflects a 3 month moving average, whereas Ontario and Canada are monthly figures.  The sample CMA breakdown for Brantford area is detailed in text at the Stats Canada website: