On the whole, it is good news that Sault Ste. Marie’s unemployment continues to fall and there is a lot of job posting activity. From an employer perspective, it is a very tight labour market, which can make it challenge to find talent. We have already been facing this issue locally as our workforce ages, but COVID may have accelerated the trend. So we will continue to watch the Participation and Employment rates and hope that begin to climb as we move through the summer months and restrictions ease.
- As expected Unemployment has begun to all in June and was 6.5% – as compared to Ontario 8.4% and Canada 8.2%
- Of some concern is that the Participation and Employment rates have continued to fall in recent months – meaning that less of the overall population is working or actively looking for work.
- As our population ages we see more people leaving the workforce (ie. retiring) and COVID may have accelerated this trend.
- Some sectors, such as Tourism and Hospitality have been greatly affected by restrictions and have yet to fully open up – which could see people still waiting to re-enter the labour market.
- Lower Participation and Employment rates mean a tighter Labour Market making it challenging for some employers to find the people they need.
- We should expect see levels of participation and employment start to climb in the coming months as we move through the summer months and COVID restrictions are lifted.
- Regardless, the lower Participation and Employment rates are a reminder that we are not fully opened up and that we will likely have a long recovery ahead.
- The overall levels of employment have fallen as well, but again this is mainly due to lower employment numbers in Goods-Producing Occupations (manufacturing and construction), which is typical for the first part of the year, so we will look for this numbers to rise in the second half of the year.
- Online job postings in Sault Ste. Marie have continued to increase significantly since February:
- As you might expect there is consistent demand for healthcare, essential retail and delivery related occupations;
- There is also an increase in postings related to seasonal and summer work such as construction (general labour) and student/summer related jobs;
- The high number of posting is another indication of a tight Labour Market
You can find the whole summary in the following pdf.