Windsor knocks unemployment price down to five.eight per cent

While Windsor trimmed over half a percentage point off its jobless rate in May, unemployment across Canada reached a new record low.

Statistics Canada released the latest Labor Market Survey on Friday, showing a 40,000 net increase in employment across the country. The benefactors were mainly young people and women aged 25 to 54-years, and the gains were in full-time work as those positions increased by 135,000 and part-time fell by 96,000. It drove the national jobless rate down to 5.1 per cent, the lowest since 1976.

When adjusted to account for those who wanted a job but didn’t look for one last month, the rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 7 per cent, again the lowest on record. Using US concepts, Canada enjoyed an employment rate of 4.1 per cent, compared to 3.6 per cent on the other side of the border.

Ontario did not benefit. Its unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points from April to 5.5 per cent.

The survey also looked at total hours worked. There was little change in those figures from April, but it climbed 5.1 per cent from one year ago.

Statistics Canada said all indicators pointed to a continually tight labor market, where the demand outstrips the supply of workers. As a result, the average hourly wage rose 3.9 per cent from May 2021, or $1.18 to $31.12.

As pandemic restrictions continue to lift, employers are giving their workers greater latitude where they do their job. Instead of ordering all staff back to the office, 27.9 per cent of workers said they could choose where they work at least some of the time, and 13.9 per cent always have a choice. Another 19.2 per cent continue to forgo the commute altogether and work from home.

Few workers are calling in sick too. Absences due to illness or disability fell to pre-pandemic levels, 6.2 per cent during May.

At Windsor, the jobless rate in May fell to 5.8 per cent, while the Labor Participation Rate dropped a full percentage point to 60.5 per cent as the local economy shed 1,800 jobs.

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