Monthly Labour Market Update Graphic

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

February Unemployment Rate: Brantford 7.6% [+] Ontario 9.2% [-] Canada 8.2% [-]

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 Reports

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

Revisions to Labour Force Survey data

Following each census cycle, Labour Force Survey (LFS) data are revised to ensure alignment with the most recently available population estimates, geographic boundaries, and occupation and industry classifications. This standard revision process—which has little impact on key labour market indicators such as employment and the unemployment rate—ensures that the LFS continues to paint a complete and accurate picture of labour market conditions.  Read more on the Statistics Canada website.

Overview from Statistics Canada

In early February, public health restrictions put in place in late December were eased in many provinces. This allowed for the re-opening of many non-essential businesses, cultural and recreational facilities, and some in-person dining. However, capacity limits and other public health requirements, which varied across jurisdictions, remained in place.

Restrictions were eased to varying degrees in Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia on February 8, although a curfew remained in effect in Quebec. In Ontario, previous requirements were lifted for many regions on February 10 and 15, while the Toronto, Peel, York and North Bay Parry Sound health regions remained under stay-at-home orders through the reference week. Various measures were eased in Manitoba on February 12.

Employment rebounds

Employment increased by 259,000 (+1.4%) in February, after falling by 266,000 over the previous two months.

Both part-time (+171,000; +5.4%) and full-time (+88,000; +0.6%) work increased.

Among those working part time (less than 30 hours per week) in February, almost one-quarter (23.8%) wanted a full-time job, up from less than one-fifth (18.5%) 12 months earlier.

The number of self-employed workers was unchanged for the second consecutive month and was down 7.4% (-213,000) compared with 12 months earlier.

Gains included an increase of 226,000 (+1.9%) among private-sector employees.

Among workers who worked at least half their usual hours in February, the number working at locations other than home increased by 600,000 as schools and other workplaces reopened in several provinces.

Compared with 12 months earlier, there were 599,000 (-3.1%) fewer people employed, and 406,000 (+50.0%) more people working less than half of their usual hours.

In February, total hours worked increased by 1.4%, driven mostly by gains in wholesale and retail trade.

Unemployment rate falls to lowest level since March 2020

The unemployment rate fell 1.2 percentage points to 8.2% in February, the lowest rate since March 2020.

The number of long-term unemployed—people who had been looking for work or been on temporary layoff for 27 weeks or more—fell by 49,000 (-9.7%) from a record high of 512,000 in January.

The labour underutilization rate fell 1.8 percentage points to 16.6%—the lowest level since February 2020.

Employment rebounds in industries most affected by January losses

The number of people working in retail trade increased by 122,000 (+6.1%) in February as restrictions on non-essential stores were lifted in many regions.

Employment in the accommodation and food services industry rose by 65,000 (+7.8%), driven primarily by Ontario and Alberta.

After falling steadily from September 2020 to January 2021, the number of people working in the information, culture, and recreation industry was little changed in February.

February employment increases were concentrated in jobs paying $17.50 per hour or less, reflecting monthly growth in industries with a high proportion of low-paying jobs.

Employment rebounds in Quebec and Ontario

Employment increased in both Quebec (+113,000; +2.7%) and Ontario (+100,000; +1.4%), coinciding with the easing of public health restrictions in most areas of both provinces.

Employment also increased in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, while it declined in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Youth employment recovers losses from recent months

Employment among youth aged 15 to 24 rose by 100,000 (+4.5%) in February, with increases in both full-time (+36,000; +2.9%) and part-time (+64,000; +6.5%) work.

Year-over-year employment losses among young women (-181,000; -14.1%) were nearly double those seen among young men (-96,000; -7.3%).

The unemployment rate for youth fell 2.6 percentage points to 17.1% in February, higher than the same month a year earlier (10.4%).

Employment rose by 134,000 (+1.1%) among people aged 25 to 54 in February, restoring much of the job losses that occurred in January, particularly among women working part time.

The unemployment rate for core-aged women fell 1.3 percentage points in February to 6.5%, returning to the low observed in December. The unemployment rate for core-aged men fell 0.6 percentage points to 6.9%, the lowest rate since March 2020.

Employment among people aged 55 and older rose by 25,000 (+0.6%) in February, following four months with little growth.

Local Top Line

  • February Unemployment Rate: Brantford 7.6% [+] Ontario 9.2% [-] Canada 8.2% [-]
  • The local unemployment rate increased by 0.7 month over month.
  • The local labour force expanded by 800 month over month.
  • The number of employed increased by 200 month over month.
  • The number of unemployed increased by 600 month over month.
  • When compared to the surrounding CMAs of Hamilton, Niagara, Waterloo, Guelph, and London, Brantford’s unemployment rate is in the middle.

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: