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London-St. Thomas October jobless rate unchanged from September

FILE - London, Ont. city hall on June 28, 2020. Matthew Trevithick\980 CFPL

A tumultuous year for unemployment numbers in London and St. Thomas took a bit of a pause this autumn, with little change in local figures between September and October.

According to Statistics Canada data released Friday, the unemployment rate for October held steady at 8.9 per cent.

Read more: London-St. Thomas jobless rate records 3rd consecutive drop, falls to 8.9 per cent in September

In October, 600 jobs were added — a small increase after 4,200 in September and another 6,900 in August.

The labour force increased by 800 people while 100 more people claimed unemployment.

The city’s participation rate, which measures the proportion of the working-age population that is working or looking for work, inched up to 61.6 per cent in October from 61.5 per cent in September.

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Read more: When did you last work? 1.3M jobless Canadians have passed critical 6-month mark

The London-St. Thomas region, like much of the world, has faced unprecedented economic challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting public health measures put in place to help control the spread of the virus.

The World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11 and the province declared a state of emergency on March 17.

The local jobless rate went from 5.8 per cent in March to a peak of 12.6 per cent in June before it began falling to the 8.9 per cent it reached in September and held for October.

Nationally, the jobless rate inched down slightly to 8.9 per cent in October from 9 per cent in September. Ontario’s unemployment rate climbed slightly to 9.6 per cent from 9.5 per cent.

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