Guelph boasted record 2.3% unemployment rate to end 2018

File photo of downtown Guelph. Nick Westoll / Global News

Guelph’s unemployment rate continues to dip to new lows as Statistics Canada released data from December on Friday.

New figures show the Royal City’s jobless rate dropped to a mere 2.3 per cent to finish off 2018, down from 3 per cent in November.

READ MORE: Unemployment still at 43-year low in December, but wages barely budge

By comparison, Guelph’s unemployment rate was at 6.2 per cent in December 2017 and at 7.3 per cent five years ago in December 2013.

In fact, historical data provided by Statistics Canada that goes back to March 2001 shows Guelph’s unemployment rate has never been recorded as this low.

Friday’s figures show the city gained 2,800 jobs in December as the size of the labour force increased, while the number of people claiming unemployment declined.

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“The labour force has gone up significantly,” said Carol Simpson, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin.

“I think a lot people are realizing that there are jobs out there and they’re actually coming back into the labour force, which is a very positive thing,” she added.

BELOW: Carol Simpson with the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin talks about Guelph’s unemployment rate

Guelph continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the country, one per cent lower than Kelowna’s second lowest rate.

“I don’t know how much lower it can go to be honest with you,” Simpson said. “But we still have to encourage more people who are currently not working to re-enter the labour force.”

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In Ontario, employment grew by 78,000 in 2018, all in full-time work. The unemployment rate in the province edged down 0.2 percentage points to 5.4 per cent, the second lowest among the provinces.

Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed at its 43-year low of 5.6 per cent last month as the economy closed out 2018 with the addition of 9,300 net new jobs.

BELOW: Why is Guelph bucking the unemployment trend?

Click to play video: 'Why is Guelph bucking the unemployment trend?' Why is Guelph bucking the unemployment trend?
Why is Guelph bucking the unemployment trend? – Apr 8, 2016

— With files from The Canadian Press

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