Monthly Labour Market Update Graphic

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

March Unemployment Rate: Brantford 7.2% [-] Ontario 7.5% [-] Canada 7.5% [-]

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

March Labour Force Survey (LFS) data reflect labour market conditions during the week of March 14 to 20.

Compared with the February 2021 reference week, public health measures were less restrictive in several provinces during the March LFS reference week. Stay-at-home orders had been lifted for all regions of Ontario by March 8, although personal care services, recreation and fitness facilities, and in-person dining remained closed in some areas, including Toronto. In Quebec, measures affecting restaurants, and recreation and entertainment facilities were eased in some regions in late February and early March, while Montréal and surrounding regions remained under the highest level of restriction.

Lockdown measures in Newfoundland and Labrador were partially eased on February 27 and again on March 11, although in-person dining remained closed in St. John's and the Avalon Peninsula. Various measures were also eased in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Employment growth continues and unemployment rate falls

Employment rose 303,000 (+1.6%) in March, and was within 1.5% of its pre-COVID February 2020 level.

The unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 7.5%, the lowest level since February 2020.

Both full- (+175,000; +1.2%) and part-time (+128,000; +3.9%) employment increased.

Self-employment rose for the first time in three months, up 56,000 (+2.1%), but remained 5.4% (-156,000) below its pre-COVID February 2020 level.

Total hours worked rose 2.0% in March, driven by gains in several industries, including educational services, retail trade and construction.

There were 1.5 million Canadians unemployed, up 371,000 (+32.4%) compared with February 2020.

Compared with February 2020, there were 296,000 (-1.5%) fewer people employed in March 2021, and 247,000 (+30.4%) more people worked less than half of their usual hours.

The labour underutilization rate fell 1.9 percentage points to 14.7%, the lowest level since February 2020.

Employment up in industries most affected by easing of public health restrictions

Employment in retail trade rose by 95,000 (+4.5%) in March, fully recouping the remainder of the losses sustained in January.

Employment in information, culture and recreation increased (+62,000; +9.4%) for the first time since September.

There were 21,000 (+2.4%) more people working in accommodation and food services.

Following little change in February, employment in the goods-producing sector rose 43,000 (+1.1%) in March, with construction contributing most of the gain (+26,000; +1.8%).

Employment increases in most provinces

Employment increased in seven provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

Employment was unchanged in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.

Young women continue to face challenges despite growth in youth employment

Employment among youth aged 15 to 24 rose by 115,000 (+5.0%) in March, with gains entirely in part-time work.

Compared with February 2020, employment was down 122,000 (-9.5%) among young women, compared with 39,000 (-3.0%) among young men.

Building on an increase of 134,000 (+1.1%) in February, employment among people aged 25 to 54 rose a further 87,000 (+0.7%) in March.

Employment among people aged 55 and older rose by 101,000 (+2.5%) but their employment rate was 0.8 percentage points lower than in February 2020.

Local Top Line

  • March Unemployment Rate: Brantford 7.2% [-] Ontario 7.5% [-] Canada 7.5% [-]
  • The local unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 month over month.
  • The local labour force expanded by 1,900 month over month.
  • The number of employed increased by 2,100 month over month.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 200 month over month.
  • When compared to the surrounding CMAs of Hamilton, Niagara, Waterloo, Guelph, and London, Brantford’s unemployment rate is 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: