The unemployment rate in London-St. Thomas inched up slightly to 7.0 per cent in March, from 6.9 per cent in February.
It’s the first time the rate has climbed since it hit a high of 12.6 per cent in June.
However, the uptick appears to be due to an increase in the number of people looking for work that outpaced the number of jobs created.
According to Statistics Canada data released Friday, the region added 1,300 jobs last month but the labour force grew by 2,000. Additionally, 700 more people claimed unemployment.
The participation rate, which measures the proportion of the working-age population that is working or looking for work, climbed to 63.3 per cent from 63 per cent.
Nationally, Statistics Canada says the economy added 303,000 jobs in March as employment increased, including gains in sectors hardest hit by public health restrictions.
The unemployment rate for March stood at 7.5 per cent, down from 8.2 per cent in February, bringing the rate to a pandemic-era low.
— with files from The Canadian Press.
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