London-St. Thomas jobless rate for February at lowest level since March 2020

FILE. Kevan D. Ashworth / The Canadian Press

The unemployment rate in the London-St. Thomas region for February was at its lowest level since the pandemic was declared and also down sharply from the month prior.

February’s jobless rate for the region stands at 6.9 per cent, down from 7.7 per cent in January and almost half of its June peak of 12.6 per cent.

Read more: Canadian economy added 259K jobs in February, blowing past estimates

According to data from Statistics Canada, 4,000 jobs were added in February. The labour force grew by 1,700 and 2,300 fewer people claimed unemployment.

The participation rate, which measures the proportion of the working-age population that is working or looking for work, climbed to 63 per cent from 62.7 per cent.

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One year ago, before a pandemic was declared, the local jobless rate sat at 4.9 per cent.

The jobless rate for March 2020 stood at 5.8 per cent, but while the pandemic was declared March 11, 2020, a state of emergency in Ontario wasn’t issued until March 17, 2020.

The unemployment rate then climbed monthly until it reached a peak of 12.6 per cent in June. Since then, it’s been either inching lower and holding steady month-to-month.

Read more: London-St. Thomas jobless rate holds steady from December to January

Nationally, Statistics Canada says the economy added 259,000 jobs in February, almost wiping out losses sustained over the previous two months.

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The national unemployment rate fell to 8.2 per cent, the lowest level since March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and down from the 9.4 per cent recorded in February.

— with files from The Canadian Press.

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