Monthly Labour Market Update Graphic

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

October Unemployment Rate: Brantford 4.8% [+] Ontario 5.9% [+] Canada 5.2% [=]

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 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 108,000 (+0.6%) in October, recouping losses observed from May to September. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.2% in October.
  • Employment rose in several industries, led by manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services. At the same time, it fell in wholesale and retail trade, as well as in natural resources.
  • The number of private-sector employees rose for the first time since March 2022. Employment was little changed among employees in the public sector and among self-employed workers.
  • Employment increased among both men and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 in October. It was little changed among men and women aged 15 to 24 and those aged 55 and older.
  • Employment rose in six provinces, with gains concentrated in Ontario and Quebec.
  • Year-over-year growth in the average hourly wages of employees remained above 5% for a fifth consecutive month in October, rising 5.6% (+$1.68 to $31.94) compared with October 2021 (not seasonally adjusted).
  • After declining 0.6% in September, total hours worked increased 0.7% in October. Compared with October 2021, total hours worked were up 2.2%.
  • In October, nearly two-thirds (64.3%) of employees with wages above $40.00 per hour had received a raise in the previous year, compared with half (50.1%) of those with wages of $20.00 or less per hour (population aged 15 to 69; not seasonally adjusted).
  • More than one in three (35.3%) Canadians aged 15 and older lived in households citing difficulty meeting financial needs in October, up from one in five in October 2020 (not seasonally adjusted).
  • More than 1.7 million Canadians had hybrid work arrangements in October (population aged 15 to 69; not seasonally adjusted).

Employment increases in October, all in full-time work

Following four months of declines or little change, employment rose by 108,000 (+0.6%) in October. This increase—which was widespread across industries, including manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services—brought employment back to a level on par with the most recent peak observed in May 2022.

In general, monthly employment growth can be the result of several factors, including more people finding work after being unemployed or out of the labour force; fewer people leaving or losing their job; and population growth, including new working-age immigrants who start a job or a business after arriving in Canada.

All of the employment gain in October was in full-time work (+119,000; +0.7%), boosting year-over-year gains in full-time employment to 472,000 (+3.0%). There was little change in part-time employment, which held steady for a fifth consecutive month and remained at virtually the same level as it was in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past 12 months, men (+3.9%; +341,000) have seen stronger growth in full-time employment than women (+1.9%; +131,000). In contrast, part-time work has increased for women (+5.7%; +126,000), while falling for men (-6.2%; -84,000). The decrease in part-time work among men is consistent with the tight labour markets observed in 2022, as men are generally less likely to work part-time than women, and more likely to do so only when labour market conditions prevent them from finding full-time work. In October, 15.8% of men working part-time would have preferred a full-time position, the lowest rate of involuntary part-time work among men for the month of October since comparable data became available in 1997 (not seasonally adjusted).

Employment rises for core-age population

The majority of the October employment increase occurred in the core working ages of 25 to 54. Building on an increase of 42,000 (+0.3%) in September, employment for this age group rose a further 69,000 (+0.5%) in October, driven by gains in full-time work. Increases were seen among both men (+45,000; +0.7%) and women (+24,000; +0.4%) in this age group. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was up by a similar amount for core-aged men (+197,000; +3.0%) and women (+194,000; +3.2%).

Young men and young women aged 15 to 24 saw little net change in employment in October. Youth employment has been on a slight downward trend, declining by 43,000 (-1.6%) since May 2022, with gains among young men (+15,000; +1.1%) more than offset by losses among young women (-58,000; -4.4%).

Employment for both men and women aged 55 and older was little changed for a third consecutive month in October. On a year-over-year basis, employment was up by 98,000 (+5.4%) among older women in October, and was little changed among older men.

Employment rate at record high among immigrants

According to the 2021 Census of Population, immigrants made up the largest share of the population in over 150 years in 2021 (23.0%). Results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for October highlight the extent to which immigrants—that is, people who are or have ever been a landed immigrant or permanent resident—have succeeded in finding employment and filling a wide range of job vacancies across the country. First, the employment rate of immigrants aged 15 and older (62.2%) was at its highest level for the month of October since comparable data became available in the LFS in 2006. Second, among those who were admitted to Canada within the last five years, the employment rate (70.7%) was 5.6 percentage points higher than before the pandemic in October 2019 (three-month moving averages; not seasonally adjusted).

First increase among private sector employees since March

Most of the employment gains in October occurred among private sector employees, whose ranks increased (+74,000; +0.6%) for the first time since March 2022. As of October, the number of private sector employees was 349,000 (+2.8%) above its pre-pandemic February 2020 level.

Following an increase in September, the number of employees in the public sector was little changed in October. Compared with February 2020, the number of employees in the public sector was up by 392,000 (+10.1%).

The number of self-employed workers was also little changed in October. This was the third consecutive month of little change, with self-employment remaining flat on a year-over-year basis and 228,000 (-7.9%) below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level.

Local Top Line

  • October Unemployment Rate: Brantford 4.8% [+] Ontario 5.9% [+] Canada 5.2% [=]
  • The local unemployment rate increased by 0.7 month over month.
  • The local labour force expanded by 1,800 month over month.
  • The number of employed increased by 1,100 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 lowest.

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: