June Unemployment at 9.6% but new under utilization rate gives a more complete picture

By July 10, 2020 September 22nd, 2020 News, News Release 2020
Media Information
Gemma Mendez-Smith, Executive Director
519-881-2725, executivedirector@planningboard.ca

News Release

June Unemployment at 9.6% but new under utilization rate gives a more complete picture

Walkerton, ON (July 10, 2020) – In June, the unemployment rate for the Stratford-Bruce Peninsula Economic Region increased by 0.3 percentage points to 9.6%. At the same time, the provincial unemployment rate increased by 1.5 percentage points to 12.5%.

Between May and June overall employment decreased in the region by 2,100, with full-time losses (-3,200) offset by part-time gains (+1,100).

Over the same time period Goods-producing sector employees decreased by 1,900 in the Stratford-Bruce Peninsula Economic Region. The greatest losses were in Construction (-1,200) and Agriculture (-800). Employment in the Services-producing sector decreased by 300. The greatest losses were in Educational services (-900) and Transportation and warehousing (-500).

Statistics Canada has recently calculated the underutilization rate for each economic region. The underutilization rate combines:

• all those who were unemployed with those who were not in the labour force but wanted a job and did not look for one;
• those who remained employed but lost all or the majority of their usual work hours as a proportion of the potential labour force.1

The underutilization rate offers a more complete picture of the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market than the unemployment rate alone. The most current available underutilization rate for Stratford-Bruce Peninsula (April 2020) was 37.4%, compared to 36.6% for Ontario overall. “While the rising unemployment rate continues to reflect layoffs due to COVID-19, the underutilization rate gives us a broader understanding of how workers in our region are being impacted by the pandemic. The Planning Board will continue to track this data point through 2020,” says Gemma Mendez-Smith, Executive Director.


Note: Statistics Canada’s monthly Labour Force Survey provides estimates of employment and unemployment, based on a sampling of households in communities. Stratford-Bruce Peninsula figures represent a three-month moving average, unadjusted for seasonality.

1 The potential labour force includes: people in the labour force (all employed and unemployed people); people not in the labour force who wanted a job but did not search for reasons such as ‘waiting for recall (to former job),’ ‘waiting for replies from employers,’ ‘believes no work available (in area, or suited to skills),’ ‘long-term future start,’ and ‘other.’