December 2021 Employment Rates for Sault Ste. Marie

Home Labour Force Survey DataDecember 2021 Employment Rates for Sault Ste. Marie

Overall, everything was moving in a positive direction in December with unemployment rates dropping and employment levels rising. Hopefully the current restrictions do not last long and we do not see too much of a downturn in the January numbers. I believe we will see a dip in the numbers, but can bounce back quickly if the restrictions do not go past the month of January.


  • Sault Ste. Marie’s unemployment rate in November was 4.8%, down from 7.5% in October.
    • Sault Ste. Marie’s overall unemployment rate is slightly lower than both the Provincial and National rates
    • The unemployment rate for those 25 to 54 years of age is 5.3%, which is in line with the Provincial and National rates
    • The unemployment rate for those 15 to 24 years of age is 12.5%, which is an indication of younger workers have challenges entering the workforce.
    • The unemployment rate for those 55 years and over is 1.9%, which is significantly lower than recent months and an indication of an even tighter labour market for older workers.
  • Sault Ste. Marie’s Participation and Employment Rates continue to be considerably lower (over 10%) than Provincial and National rates.
    • Since both the Participation and Employment Rates are based on the overall population (aged 15 and above), the lower rates are mainly attributable to the fact that Sault Ste. Marie has a relatively older population and more people out of the workforce (retired).
    • Comparing the rates by age group shows that the Participation and Employment rates for the core working aged population (25 to 54) are more in line with Provincial and National rates.
    • Both the Participation and Employment Rates have begun to climb in recent months.  Since we have a high number of job postings (see below), we would hope to see the Employment and Participation Rates continue to increase in the coming months. If they don’t, we will continue to have a tight labour market in which some employers will have challenges filling open positions.
  • Overall employment rose slightly to 33,600 jobs in November.
    • Employment in the Goods-Producing sector increased slightly driven by an increase in Manufacturing Sectors.
    • Employment in Services-Producing increased slightly. Gains came in Education and Culture/Recreation sectors.
  • Comparing current employment levels December 2021 and December 2019, overall employment is 8% lower than December 2019 (pre-COVID)
    • Not surprisingly, the retail sector had largest drop in employment.
    • Construction sector jobs are also down, but this is more likely due to the cyclical nature of the sector/number of projects currently underway and not directly related to COVID.
  • Job postings continue to be strong for Sault Ste. Marie (These will be tempered by the current restrictions).
    • The number of Job postings in December 2021 are double the December 2020 postings.
    • An increase in Retail related job postings could be a sign of higher levels of employment in the Retail sector to come.
    • Similarly, there was an increase in demand for Cooks, Food Counter and Kitchen Helpers along with consistent postings for Healthcare related jobs.
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