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Hamilton’s unemployment rate in December flat, Niagara sees jump: Statistics Canada

Hamilton's director of economic development says most of the city's growth targets were achieved from 2016-2020. Norm Schleehahn stresses that pandemic recovery will be a focus as he develops a new, 5 year plan. Don Mitchell / Global News

Statistics Canada’s (StatCan) latest job data shows Hamilton’s unemployment rate was flat for the fourth straight month moving slightly from 8.0 to 8.1 per cent in December.

As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in March, the city’s jobless rate rocketed from 4.9 per cent at the end of February to 12.1 per cent at the end of June.

Since then StatCan says the city has levelled off, fluctuating between 8 and 9 per cent between September and the end of 2020.

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StatCan says just over 402,500 people were employed in the city last month, which is up about 8,700 people from November.

The city is still down just over 25,000 jobs since February and down 27,000 year-over-year.

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Hamilton’s labour force increased by 9,800 people while about 1,100 more people claimed unemployment in December compared to November.

The city’s participation rate, which measures the proportion of the working-age population that is working or looking for work, was also generally flat — up only slightly to 63.6 per cent in December from 62.2 per cent in November.

Niagara’s unemployment rate rises in December

In Niagara, the unemployment rate jumped to 9.1 per cent compared to 7.2 per cent in November. The region lost around 4,100 jobs, last month.

StatCan says 191,600 people were employed last month, compared to 195,700 in November.

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.

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Niagara’s labour force was flat, checking in at around 210,700 people.

The region’s population that’s working or looking for work also remained the same month-to-month at just over 58,000.

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Ontario’s unemployment rate steady in December

Ontario’s unemployment rate held steady between November and December at 9.4 per cent.

The labour market gained another 20,000 jobs in December month-to-month.

Canada loses 63,000 jobs in December

StatCan national numbers also showed unemployment edging up slightly to 8.6 per cent compared to 8.5 per cent in November.

In May, the country had a record high of 13.7 per cent.

The economy lost 63,000 jobs in December with a gain of 36,500 full-time jobs offset by a loss of 99,000 part-time jobs with most lost in the accommodation and food services industry.

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