Monthly Labour Market Update Graphic

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

January Unemployment Rate: Brantford 6.9% [+] Ontario 10.2% [+] Canada 9.4% [+]

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

After the December Labour Force Survey (LFS) reference week—December 6 to 12—a number of provinces extended public health measures in response to increasing COVID-19 cases. January LFS data reflect the impact of these new restrictions and provide a portrait of labour market conditions as of the week of January 10 to 16.

In Ontario, restrictions already in place for many regions of southern Ontario—including the closure of non-essential retail businesses—were extended to the rest of the province effective December 26. In Quebec, non-essential retail businesses were closed effective December 25 and a curfew implemented on January 14 further affected the operating hours of some businesses.

Employment falls to lowest level since August

Employment fell by 213,000 (-1.2%) in January. Losses were entirely in part-time work and were concentrated in the Quebec and Ontario retail trade sectors.

The decline in January followed a 53,000 drop (-0.3%) in December and brought employment to its lowest level since August 2020.

Compared with February 2020, employment was down 858,000 in January and COVID-related absences from work were up 529,000. Among Canadians who worked at least half their usual hours, the number working from home increased by nearly 700,000 to 5.4 million in January, surpassing the previous high of 5.1 million in April.

Unemployment rate increases to highest level since August 2020

The unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 9.4%, the highest rate since August 2020.

The number of long-term unemployed (people who have been looking for work or who have been on temporary layoff for 27 weeks or more) remained at a record high (512,000).

The labour force participation rate—defined as the percentage of the population aged 15 and older who are employed or unemployed—fell 0.3 percentage points in January to 64.7%, the lowest rate since August 2020.

In January, the labour underutilization rate rose 1.2 percentage points to 18.4%.

Employment losses highly concentrated in Central Canada

Employment fell by 213,000 (-1.2%) in January. The decline was highly concentrated in Central Canada, with losses in Ontario and Quebec totalling 251,000. Employment also fell in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Employment rose in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and held steady in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

Employment falls in industries affected by new public health measures

Employment declined in January in three services-producing industries most affected by new and continuing public health restrictions—accommodation and food services (-8.2%), retail trade (-7.4%), and information, culture and recreation (-2.4%).

In the goods-producing sector, employment in construction rose by 39,000 (+2.8%) in January, driven by gains in Quebec and Alberta.

Following two months of little change, the number of people working in health care and social assistance increased (+19,000; +0.7%), bringing employment in the sector back to its pre-COVID level.

Drop in youth employment driven by employment losses among teenagers

Employment losses in January were more than twice as large among youth aged 15 to 19 (-74,000; -9.3%) than among those aged 20 to 24 (-34,000; -2.2%).

Employment fell by 107,000 (-0.9%) among people aged 25 to 54 in January, with the decline among core-aged women (-73,000; -1.3%) more than double that of core-aged men (-33,500; -0.5%).

The employment rate among core-aged parents of children aged 17 and under fell 1.5 percentage points in January to 81.8%.

More than two-fifths of Canadians (43.3%) who were employed or wanted to work were concerned about contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.

Local Top Line

  • January Unemployment Rate: Brantford 6.9% [+] Ontario 10.2% [+] Canada 9.4% [+]
  • The local unemployment rate increased by 0.2 month over month.
  • The local labour force contracted by 1,200 month over month.
  • The number of employed decreased by 1,300 month over month.
  • The number of unemployed increased by 100 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: