Barrie's unemployment rate drops full percentage point in May

Barrie’s unemployment rate dropped a full percentage point from April to May.

According to new numbers released by Statistics Canada on June 8, Barrie recorded a jobless rate of 7.4 per cent for May.

The jobless number is no longer high enough to claim the top spot in Ontario.

Now Barrie sits behind Brantford, which reported 7.5 per cent unemployment, the highest rate in Ontario.

In March, Barrie’s unemployment rate was 8.8 per cent. A number high enough to claim the undesirable top spot in the country.

In April, the city’s jobless rate dropped marginally to 8.4 per cent. The number was no longer high enough to put Barrie at the top of the list in Canada, but the city still reported the highest unemployment in Ontario.

Barrie has the highest unemployment rate in Ontario. Why?

However, in May, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said he wasn’t overly concerned about the high number, saying the statistic is highly volatile.

Lehman also noted that the unemployment rate only spiked in the last few months. Lehman pointed to statistics released in December which showed Barrie had the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at just 3.4 per cent.

Lehman also maintained that the hiring climate in Barrie has remained strong all year.

In a tweet, Lehman says the new jobs report was “very strong,” for Barrie, and points to growth in full-time employment.

In Canada, St. John’s, N.L., reported the highest jobless number at 8.7 per cent.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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