File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / svanhorn

Local jobless rate falls

For the first time in months, the unemployment rate in the London area has gone down.

According to figures released by Statistics Canada on Friday morning, the jobless rate in the London census metropolitan area, which includes St. Thomas, Strathroy, and other surrounding communities, fell to 6.2 per cent in October from 6.5 per cent in September. The decrease came as the local economy added 4,600 new jobs. The London area also saw an increase in the size of its labour force, from 265,000 in September to 269,200 in October.

In another encouraging sign, the labour force participation rate also went up, from 59 per cent in September to 59.9 per cent in October.

“Still many areas for improvement, and much work left to be done, but encouraged to see another 4,600 jobs added in London last month,” Mayor Ed Holder tweeted after the figures were released. “Over the past three months, we’ve now added a total of 11,600 new jobs.”

Nationally, the economy shed 1,800 jobs. However, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 per cent.