Eastern Ontario unemployment drops to pre-pandemic level

CORNWALL – The jobless rate for Eastern Ontario has dropped to a level not seen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Statistics Canada says November’s jobless rate for the area from Brockville to Ottawa and east to the Quebec border was 4.6 per cent, down 1.2 per cent from October (5.8 per cent).

A rate that low hasn’t been seen since since February and March 2020 when unemployment was 4 and 5 per cent.

In Cornwall, the employment rate rose from 48.2 per cent in October to 49.4 per cent last month. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 per cent in November from 9.4 per cent in October. That happened despite 400 people locally leaving the labour force.

Across Ontario, the unemployment rate dropped six-tenths of a per cent to 6.4 per cent in November as the province added 68,100 more jobs – almost all of them full-time.

Canada added 154,000 positions to the labour force in November as the national unemployment rate fell to 6 per cent, compared to 6.7 per cent in October.