Across Ontario the labour market worsened in December, as lockdowns started to be implemented across more regions, including Hamilton. Employment decreased by 11,900 jobs in December, the first month of job losses after 6 months of gains. Most of the job losses came from part-time jobs. With the lockdown continuing in January, we most likely can expect job losses to continue. With the recent announcement of Ontario being placed into a state of emergency for 28 days it is inevitable that job losses will continue into February.
The unemployment rate increase by 0.4 percentage point rising back to 9.5%. Also, the employment rate (number of people working in the population) decreased by 0.1 percentage points bringing it to 58.9%. The employment rate is still well below the rate it was before the pandemic in February at 61.6%.
In Hamilton, the decline was not as large. This is most likely because the data for Hamilton is a three-month moving average so December data will incorporate October and November. Employment increased by 8,700 jobs but the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points bring in to 8.1%.