Barrie’s jobless rate continues its rise while the rest of the province and the country trends downward.
From April to May, the city’s unemployment rate grew by three tenths to 7.3 per cent. Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman says there are pros and cons to having a growing city. “In May, Barrie shows an increase of 500 jobs, but the labour force grew by 1,000, so the jobless rate ticked up again.”
“This is the challenge of a growing city, if job growth doesn’t keep up we see the unemployment rate grow.” added Lehman. “I would note though that we are up more than 4,000 jobs from this point last year and it was still a month of job growth, just not fast enough to keep pace with labour market growth.”
While the jobless rate in the city has grown from 5.1 per cent in January, Lehman says there are signs around the city of a healthy job market nonetheless. “Overall yes, its definitely concerning if this becomes a trend. But I continue to hear from employers that they are growing and haven’t heard of any significant closures…so I think it’s a matter of making sure residential and employment growth keep pace as Barrie grows.”
Meanwhile, the provincial rate is down just a titch to 5.7 per cent, while some great news on the federal front. At 5.6 per cent, this is one of the lowest unemployment rates across Canada since the 70’s.