Unemployment rate edges higher in Eastern Ontario, flat in Cornwall

EASTERN ONTARIO – The number of people out of work in Eastern Ontario edged higher in June even as the national picture improved slightly.

Statistics Canada says the jobless rate for the region from Brockville to Ottawa and east to the Quebec border was at 9.4 per cent last month, up from 8.1 in May. It was also way up from June 2019 when the rate was 5.3 per cent.

Cornwall’s unemployment rate held steady between May and June at 13.9 per cent. A comparative figure for June 2019 wasn’t available due to confidentiality issues with the survey. Industry watchers take the information with a grain of salt due to its smaller sample size which leads to wild fluctuations in the results.

Nationally, the economy added 953,000 jobs in June as businesses that were forced to be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, started to reopen. It was almost a half-and-half mix of full- and part-time positions.

Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 12.3 per cent in June after a record high 13.7 per cent in May.