Windsor unemployment jumps to 7.1%, highest among cities in Canada

Statistics Canada's offices at Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Statistics Canada's offices at Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Windsor's unemployment rate jumped to 7.1 per cent in October, the highest among major cities in Canada, new numbers from Statistics Canada show.

It's also an increase from last month — Windsor's unemployment rate was six per cent in September.

Tashlyn Teskey is the manager of research projects with Workforce Windsor Essex, a workforce and community development board.

She says the result was "a little more shocking than we expected it to be."

The rate "again puts us unfortunately at the the highest unemployment rate in Canada, which we had gotten away from for the last couple months," Teskey said.

But, Teskey says, it's not unexpected for October, when much summer seasonal employment ends and holiday employment hasn't yet started.

And, there's a local factor that might help account for the spike — the Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant, a major employer, was shut down for retooling for the month.

"So it's nothing to be real concerned about as a long-term change," Teskey said.

Teskey said the organization is also seeing a bit of a decrease in job postings, noting the same thing happened last October.

"It might be due to the increase in minimum wage and maybe some employers that offer minimum wage positions maybe holding off with some of their hiring," she said.

If trends continue, Teskey said they'll likely seethe unemployment number dip in November and December with holiday hiring and as Windsor assembly workers head back to work.

According to Statistics Canada, the economy added about 18,000 jobs in October.

The agency released its October labour force survey Friday, which showed the economy added a modest 18,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate was 5.7 per cent in October, up from 5.5 per cent in September.

October marks the fourth increase in the country's jobless rate over the last six months.

Employment rose last month in construction and information and culture and recreation, but the increase was offset by declines in wholesale and retail trade as well as manufacturing.