Canadian unemployment rate hits record high in May while Barrie’s jobless rate rose 2.5 percent

Despite swell in new jobs, more were looking for work

Not a record-breaker to be excited about, nor surprised about given the circumstances.

The national jobless rate hit a record high in May, rising to 13.7 percent, even though the economy created 290,000 jobs. The previous record was set in 1982 at 13.1 percent.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman was surprised by the national number, considering so many jobs were added. “However, with the labour force growing much more, a lot more people were looking for work,” Lehman said in an email to Barrie 360. “COVID’s impact is now showing clearly in the numbers as almost all Canadian cities are in the 10-14% range.”

Barrie’s jobless rate gained two-and-a-half percentage points from April to May and now sits at 11.6 percent. The provincial unemployment rate rose from 11.3 percent in April to 13.6 percent in May.