Unemployment rate reaches 7-year high in London, St. Thomas

The jobless rate in London and St. Thomas, Ont., climbed from 5.8 per cent in March to 8.9 per cent in April as the economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic became more apparent.

The last time the unemployment was near 8.9 per cent in the region was in summer 2013 when the jobless rate went from 9.1 per cent in July to 8.5 per cent in August.

In April, Statistics Canada reports the local labour force decreased by roughly 8,300 people, 16,300 jobs were lost and the number of people claiming unemployment rose by 7,800.

The participation rate, which has long been of concern in the London region, fell from 61.6 per cent in March to 59.7 per cent in April.

The agency said the national unemployment rate climbed to 13 per cent — the second-highest unemployment rate on record.

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The total job losses across the country since the start of the coronavirus shutdown is now over three million, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

— With files from Global News Radio 980 CFPL’s Devon Peacock and the Canadian Press

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