Vol 4, Issue 2, April 8, 2021
Hamilton's Labour Market Connection
Your weekly news & updates from WPH!
In this week's edition: WPH has moved! ; Hamilton's Labour Market: A year in review; Hamilton LMI February 2021
PH has moved our office location. We are now located at 1 Young Street in Hamilton.

Please update your mailing list: 1 Young Street, Suite 218, Hamilton, L8N 1T8
Hamilton's Labour Market: A Year in Reivew

This report looks at the general labour force characteristics and the occupations and industries that have been affected by COVID-19 pandemic after one year through the pandemic (February 2021). Demographic information is not included, as this report covers a more boarder perspective to highlight the general trends that the community is seeing. Therefore, a lot information is given and is meant to raise questions, particularly in the occupational charts (Figures 5 to 8) as some trends are unique to Hamilton. 

Figure 1. Hamilton Labour Force Characteristics, February 2020 to February 2021
Figure 2. Hamilton Labour Force Characteristics, February 2020 to February 2021
It has been one year since the pandemic started in Ontario with shutdowns being instituted. Over the course of the year, the labour market has gone through immense changes with the unemployment rate in Hamilton peaking at 12.2% after the initial lockdowns. Since then, the unemployment rate has steadily declined to 7.1% but still significantly higher than it was last February (2020) at 4.9%. This is equivalent to 30,900 people currently unemployed in Hamilton. 

It is also important to remember as seen in Figure 2, the number of people in the labour force is still lower than last February. There are still 5,00 fewer individuals in Hamilton either looking for work or working. This shows there is still slack in the labour market, and with the ensuing lockdowns the labour market will need more time to recover. 

Figure 3. Unemployment Rates Across Ontario, Census Metropolitan Area’s (CMA)
Looking at the CMAs across Ontario, Hamilton has actually been one of the relatively least impacted communities. Barrie, St. Catharines-Niagara, Peterborough, and Toronto still have unemployment rates in the double digits. 

Figure 4. Change in Employment Across Industries, Hamilton, Feb 2020 to Feb 2021
There were still a number of industries that did see growth over the course of the year. Most of the growth did occur in the last few months, as initially the lockdowns affected all industries. Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing has seen the most growth, growing by 6,700 employees. This sector might be more likely to avoid the strict public health restrictions. 

One major difference between Hamilton and Ontario figures is that Professional, scientific and technical services was the top growing sector across Ontario but declining in Hamilton. Wholesale and Retail trade saw large declines across Ontario but grew in Hamilton, demonstrating Hamilton has distinct trends. Only four industries saw growth across Ontario: Professional, scientific and technical services; Manufacturing; Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; and Educational services.

Figure 5. Change in Employment Across Occupational Groups (1-digit NOC), Hamilton, Feb 2020 to Feb 2021
Business, finance and administration occupations saw the largest growth during the last year, increasing by 5,100 jobs. This most likely overlaps with the Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing noted above. 

Figure 6. Top 10 Growing Occupations (2-digit NOC), Hamilton, Feb 2020 to Feb 2021
Sales support occupations was the top growing 2-digit NOC occupation in Hamilton. This occupation works in Retail trade and Grocery Stores. Therefore, these gains are most likely related to Grocery stores being open during the pandemic, as retail trade was heavily locked down though the pandemic. 

The other occupation worth mentioning is Industrial, electrical, and construction trades which saw growth of 4,400 jobs and is one of the hardest to fill jobs according to the 2021 Employer One Survey. 

Figure 7. Top 10 Declining Occupations (2-digit NOC), Hamilton, Feb 2020 to Feb 2021
Transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations saw the most declines in Hamilton over the year, declining by 12,400 jobs. The next three occupation that saw major declines relates to service occupations particularly accommodation and food services, and these industries were majorly impacted by public health restrictions.

Interestingly, Care providers and educational, legal and public protection support occupations also declines, and this occupation is where Personal Support Workers are which has been documented as a shortage occupation.

Figure 8. Top 10 Job Postings by Occupations (4-digit NOC), 2020, Hamilton (Census Division)
The above table looks at the top 10 job postings in Hamilton for 2020. The postings this year is a slightly misleading because after a large contraction due to lockdowns in certain sectors, these same sectors opened their stores and hired workers. Many of the top are occupations a high rate of “churn”, so many people enter and leave the occupations, making it seem the jobs are in high demand.

Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations were the most posted occupation, which makes since as they are in demand during the pandemic. However, this slightly contradicts the above figure where the 2-digit occupation that it is categorized in declined.
Retail salespersons also saw a lot of job postings and this occupation did see increases as seen in Figure 6. This occupation and industry will need to be closely monitored since it is one of the most employed industries and has been impacted by the public health restrictions but so far has been steady in Hamilton. 

Figure 9. Share of Job Postings from the Previous Year, 2019 to 2020, Hamilton (Census Division)
This chart shows the share of postings per month relative to the previous year. So, we can see that when the lockdowns started in March 2020, the number of postings only represented 70% compared to 2019. Similarly, in April it only represented 43% of the postings from 2020 to 2019. By the end of the year in 2020 Hamilton is close to where the averages were from the previous year but still slightly down. 

Hamilton Labour Force Information:
February 2021

The Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business is a one-stop online resource centre and phone line dedicated to supporting Hamilton businesses with their COVID-19 business questions and concerns.
Hamilton businesses can call the COVID Concierge at 905-521-3989 (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm) or Contact Us online.

The Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business is brought to you by the Hamilton COVID Concierge Team, comprised of the City of Hamilton and the three local Chambers of Commerce.
Workforce Planning Hamilton | 905-521-5777| info@workforceplanninghamilton.ca | www.workforceplanninghamilton.ca