Barrie jobless rate continues to better provincial, federal rates, minority groups hardest hit by national job losses

Indigenous, female workers highly impacted as well

The City of Barrie’s job market is riding out the COVID-19 storm better than most.

Barrie outperforming federal, provincial rates

Statistics Canada announced Friday morning, the city’s jobless rate fell half a percentage point to 9.2 percent from July to August. The city continues to outperform both the federal and provincial jobless rates.

Provincial, federal rates showing improvement

However, both Canada and Ontario’s jobless rates fell seven-tenths month-over-month, to 10.2 and 10.7 percent respectively. This marks Ontario’s third straight month of job growth, with the economy creating 141,800 jobs throughout the province.

“While these numbers are positive, we have a long way to go to achieve a full economic recovery,” said jobs creation minister Vic Fidelli Friday. “As the fall approaches, we will continue to work with our world-class entrepreneurs and innovators, and prioritize made-in-Ontario solutions so that we can shape a sustainable economic climate that will benefit all Ontarians in every region of the province.”

Minority groups among those hit hardest

As a means of identifying the impacts of COVID-19, Statistics Canada recently introduced a question in its labour force survey, asking respondents to report the population group to which they identify. This question shows those identifying as a member of a visible minority were hit hard by the pandemic. “As in July, the national unemployment rate in Agust maks significant differences across population groups,” according to Friday’s StatsCan report. “For example, Arab, Black, and Southeast Asian Canadians continued to have significantly higher unemployment rates than Canadians who were not a member of a population group designated as a visible minority.”

The same report indicated employment among Indigenous people living off-reserve decreased by 1.8 percent from July to August, while employment among non-Indigenous Canadians rose by 1.3 percent.

Fewer women in national labour force

According to Friday’s job market report, the number of women in the workforce has fallen compared to pre-COVID levels. “The rate for men in this age group was within 0.2 percentage points of its pre-COVID level, while for core aged-women it was 1.3 percentage points lower than in February,” reads the online report. “This is an indication that women continue to engage in non-employment-related activities – including caring for children and family members – at a higher rate than prior to COVID-19.”

Accommodation and food services, as well as retail trade, were among the sectors hardest hit by the initial COVID-19 economic shutdown. While employment began to rebound in both sectors in May, the pace of growth slowed significantly from July to August.

Employment in educational services saw a significant rise from July to August with the return to school just around the corner.