Unemployment rate dropping in Sarnia-Lambton

Successful job interview with boss and employee handshaking. © Can Stock Photo / AntonioGuillem

Sarnia-Lambton’s unemployment rate (UR) is moving back towards pre-pandemic figures.

Workforce Development Board (SLWDB) Executive Director Laura Greaves said the UR dropped to 7.5 per cent in August, which is about the same as it was in December 2019.

“There are still about 4,800 people unemployed, so there are still some job-seekers out there, [but] our unemployment rate is looking pretty good.”

In January of this year, the UR hit 10.1 per cent.

Greaves said there are not as many businesses looking for employees now as there were over the summer.  She added that accommodations and food services are a couple of sectors that are still really looking for workers.

“In the summer, there were a lot of retail jobs that were opening up.  Retail has remained consistent — come down even a little bit in the same way that the job postings numbers overall have come down.  Healthcare too, consistent — a little bit lower, but not a lot lower.  But, accommodations and food services, those numbers continue to go up.”

Greaves said the recently announced Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, aimed at encouraging employers to hire, welcome back former employees and increase hours, could be a good thing for people who are looking for jobs.

“I think this is a good thing for the federal government to be pushing employers to be considering all of these options.  The job posting numbers have come down a little bit, so this benefit might encourage [employers] to either post for new jobs or offer additional hours.”

Greaves said SLWDB’s job board had around 1,800 postings in June, 2,100 in July, and nearly 2,000 in August.  There were around 950 postings on the site Wednesday morning.