January 2022 Employment Rates for Sault Ste. Marie

Home Labour Force Survey DataJanuary 2022 Employment Rates for Sault Ste. Marie

Although the Unemployment Rate increased slightly from December, we saw a 5% increase in overall employment. All sectors had an increase in employment with the exception of Construction which tends to have lower levels of employment in the winter months.

Comparing January 2022 to January 2020 (pre-COVID), overall employment was only down by 2%.


  • Sault Ste. Marie’s unemployment rate in January was 6.4%, up from 4.8% in December.
    • 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 6%, which is in line with the Provincial and National rates.
    • The unemployment rate for those 15 to 24 years of age is 20%, which is an indication of younger workers have challenges entering the workforce.
    • The unemployment rate for those 55 years and over is 4.9%, which is slightly lower that both the Provincial and National rates.
  • 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 35,200 jobs in January.
    • Employment in the Goods-Producing Sector held steady at 7,300 jobs due to an increase in employment in the Manufacturer sector even though employment in the Construction sector fell.
    • Employment in the Services-Producing Sector rose to 27,800 mainly due to a bounce back of employment in the Retail and Accommodation/Food Services sector
  • Comparing current employment levels January 2022 and January 2020 (pre-COVID), overall employment is only 2% lower.
    • 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.
  • Overall Employment levels from December 2021 to January 2022 grew by 5%
  • Job postings continue to be strong for Sault Ste. Marie.
    • The number of Job postings in January 2022 are double the January 2021 postings.
    • Overall job postings decreased slightly from January, but new job postings increased.
    • We continue to see strong demand in Healthcare, Retail and Restaurants.
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