Hamilton’s unemployment rate dropped for a second straight month, showing additional recovery from significant drops earlier in the year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statistics Canada’s (StatCan) latest data shows the jobless rate fell to 10 per cent in August compared to 11.3 per cent in June.
The region’s numbers surged during the coronavirus pandemic from 4.9 per cent in February to 12.1 per cent at the end of June.
The agency says 10,800 jobs were added to the region in August, however, the city is still down 27,700 jobs compared to August of 2019.
President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Keanin Loomis says the number shows “cautious optimism” for the regional economy.
“The wage subsidies and other programs from the government has helped tremendously. I know it’s helped us as an organization and many others through this time,” said Loomis.
However, Loomis says there’s still some uncertainty with the businesses he works with since economic indicators typically “lag in time.”
“We still haven’t quite seen exactly the full impacts of COVID-19,” Loomis said.
“My biggest concern is actually going to be 2021 once government programs run out.”
Ontario added 142,000 new jobs putting the provincial jobless rate at 10.6 percent.
Niagara jobless rate falls slightly in August
Niagara is still down about 15,100 jobs compared to July of 2019.
During the pandemic, Niagara has been the second hardest-hit region in Ontario, losing close to 32,000 (15.6 per cent) of its jobs between February and June.
Canada adds another 246K jobs
StatCan national numbers also showed a dip as the unemployment rate slid to 10.2 per cent in August compared to 10.9 per cent in July. In May, the country had a record high of 13.7 per cent.
The labour market gained another 246,000 jobs in August, tapering off from the 419,000 jobs added in July as more parts of the economy were allowed to reopen amid the coronavirus.
StatCan says the number of Canadians working from home also declined for the fourth consecutive month. During the peak of the pandemic in May, 3.4 million Canadians worked from home. That number dropped to 2.5 million in August.
Temporary layoffs, which reached a pandemic peak of 1.2 million in April, fell again in August. In July, there were 460,000 on a layoff. That number dropped to 230,000 in August.View link »