Unemployment rate in Sault still higher than in Canada, rate in Ontario

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Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Sault’s unemployment rate was 5.1%, before climbing into double digits, likely attributed to the pandemic and lockdown.

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The overall unemployment rate in Sault Ste. Marie fell slightly, according to April statistics published by Algoma Workforce Investment Corp.

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The data also shows that participation and employment rates fell slightly from March, but remained relatively high from recent lows, executive director Jonathan Coulman said.

Statistics for April 2022 show that employment increased by 11% compared to April 2020, just after the implementation of COVID restrictions.

The most recent data, based on a three-month moving average, shows that Sault Ste. Marie’s unemployment rate in April was 6.7%, down slightly from 7.3% the previous month.

The unemployment rate is still slightly higher than 5.2% in Canada and 5.4% in Ontario.

“This is down slightly from 7.3% in January 2022, but lower than the recent high of 9.3% in September 2021,” Coulman said, pointing to the data in his report.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Sault’s unemployment rate was 5.1%, before climbing into double digits, likely attributed to the pandemic and lockdown. At that time, national and provincial rates also spiked, but then steadily declined in 2021 and increased in recent months.

Overall employment reached 38,200 jobs in April, with strong gains in construction and the accommodation and food services sector.

The employment rate in April was 56.3%, down slightly from the peak of 62.9% reached in November 2020. It remains slightly lower than 61.8% in Canada and 61.7% in the United States. Ontario, although it has increased over the past three months.

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Unemployment remains high among young workers – those between the ages of 15 and 24. The data shows that Sault Ste. Marie has an unemployment rate of 23% for this age group, more than double the Canadian average of 10.1% and the Ontario average of 11.2%.

The data also shows that Sault Ste. Marie’s participation and unemployment rates fell slightly in April 2022 after increasing since November 2021.

The Sault’s participation rate – people employed or actively looking for work – fell slightly to 59.9%. The national stat is 65.3% and the Ontario stat is 65.5%.

“Part of that could be an indication that people are re-entering the workforce after COVID restrictions,” he said. “Sault Ste. Marie’s lower participation rate is mainly attributable to the fact that we have an older population and therefore more people in our general population have left the labor market (on retirement), ”says the report of Coulman.

“Since we have a high number of job openings, we hope to see employment and participation rates continue to increase in the months ahead,” Coulman said. “Higher participation and employment rates should help employers who have difficulty filling vacancies.”

Job vacancies in March 2022 are three times higher than in March 2021, with strong demands in a number of sectors, including healthcare, home health aides, retail and catering.

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