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London-St. Thomas jobless rate falls in December as 2k jobs added

Steel workers build a structure in Ottawa on March 5, 2018. Canada saw its first monthly jobs gain since September last month, according to new labour data. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick.
Steel workers build a structure in Ottawa on March 5, 2018. Canada saw its first monthly jobs gain since September last month, according to new labour data. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick.

London ended 2019 on a high note on the job front.

Statistics Canada reports the London-St. Thomas jobless rate fell slightly to 5.7 per cent in December, down from 5.8 per cent the month before.

The decline came as London added 2,000 jobs while also seeing an increase in the overall labour force and a slight decline in the number of people claiming unemployment.

READ MORE: Canadian inflation up 2.2% in November amid higher gasoline prices

The increase in jobs comes months after Mayor Ed Holder said the city was in the midst of a jobs crisis. The second half of 2019 made up for what was a lackluster first half for jobs seekers. Since July, London has added 19,100 jobs giving London-St. Thomas a total increase of 7,700 jobs since the current city council took over.

December also saw an increase in the participation rate, rising to 61.1 per cent from 60.8 per cent. Despite the bump, London’s participation rate continues to lag behind the rest of the province and the country.

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READ MORE: Canadian unemployment fell in December, economy added 35,200 jobs

Overall, the national unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 per cent as 35,000 jobs were added.

Canada saw an increase of 320,000 jobs nationwide for the 2019 calendar year, mostly the result of gains in full-time work. Employment in the country increased by 1.7 per cent in 2019, a faster pace than the same period in 2018.

In December, employment increased in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, with most of the gains coming in Ontario, where 25,000 jobs were added. As a result, the provincial unemployment rate fell to 5.3 per cent.