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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 9th, 2021

March employment data released


Analysis by Niagara Workforce Planning Board reveals that March 2021 saw 1,700 more people in employment compared to February 2021. These gains were the result of 5,000 more people in full-time employment and 3,300 fewer people in part-time employment.

Niagara’s unemployment rate increased slightly from 12.8% to 13.0%, which reflects more people actively looking for work in the region.

While these data are generally positive, Ontario’s stay at home order, enacted on April 8, 2021, will likely see a reversal of these gains should the local economy follow the trend seen in the March 2020 and December 2020 lockdowns.

March 2021’s employment gains were concentrated in the services-producing sector. The largest services-producing sector gains were in wholesale and retail trade, gaining 1,800 people in employment, and educational services, gaining 1,600 people. While manufacturing saw 700 month-over-month employment gains in March, construction saw 900 employment losses. Despite construction’s monthly employment decline, March 2021’s employment count was 113% of that seen in March 2020.

March 2021 saw 100 more youth employed in Niagara. This change reflects 1,800 more youth working in a full-time capacity and 1,700 fewer working in a part-time capacity. A monthly increase in the youth unemployment rate combined with a decrease in the employment rate reflects more job seekers, a larger youth population and labour force, but a considerably smaller increase in youth employment levels. Niagara’s youth workforce in March 2021 was 27% smaller than it was in March 2020.

Labour force characteristicsFeb 2020March 20202020Jan 2021Feb 2021March 2021
Labour force217,000211,200211,200210,900206,400208,900
Full-time employment156,700149,500147,200140,900137,500142,500
Part-time employment47,40043,30043,40045,60042,40039,100
Unemployment rate5.9%8.7%9.8%11.6%12.8%13.0%
Participation rate58.6%57.0%56.9%56.6%55.4%56.1%
Employment rate55.1%52.1%51.3%50.1%48.3%48.7%

Click here to read more.


Unemployment rate lowest since February 2020

Employment rose 303,000 (+1.6%) in March, and was within 1.5% of its pre-COVID February 2020 level. The unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 7.5%, the lowest level since February 2020.

Both full- (+175,000; +1.2%) and part-time (+128,000; +3.9%) employment increased.

Self-employment rose for the first time in three months, up 56,000 (+2.1%), but remained 5.4% (-156,000) below its pre-COVID February 2020 level.

Total hours worked rose 2.0% in March, driven by gains in several industries, including educational services, retail trade and construction.

There were 1.5 million Canadians unemployed, up 371,000 (+32.4%) compared with February 2020.

Compared with February 2020, there were 296,000 (-1.5%) fewer people employed in March 2021, and 247,000 (+30.4%) more people worked less than half of their usual hours.

The labour underutilization rate fell 1.9 percentage points to 14.7%, the lowest level since February 2020.

Employment in retail trade rose by 95,000 (+4.5%) in March, fully recouping the remainder of the losses sustained in January.

Employment in information, culture and recreation increased (+62,000; +9.4%) for the first time since September.

There were 21,000 (+2.4%) more people working in accommodation and food services.

Following little change in February, employment in the goods-producing sector rose 43,000 (+1.1%) in March, with construction contributing most of the gain (+26,000; +1.8%).

Click here to read more.

4 of 5 Canadians feel safe at work, but many believe workplaces won’t return to normal until 2022: Abacus/Canadian Chamber of Commerce Poll

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce today released the results of a poll examining how Canadians feel about how and where they work during the pandemic. Abacus Data completed the polling for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce by Abacus Data.

Today, slightly more than 1 in 2 Canadians (51 per cent) are still going into the workplace most of the time, with another 12 per cent splitting their time between the workplace and working from home. Only 36 per cent are working from home full time.

Asked when they thought their workplace would return to normal, nearly half of Canadians (45 per cent) did not believe that would occur until 2022.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Health ramping down, postponing some surgeries starting April 12

Niagara Health is ramping down and postponing some surgical cases beginning on Monday, April 12, amid extreme pressure on critical care capacity across the province. This comes in response to direction from Ontario Health.

All patients scheduled for a surgical procedure will be called directly by their care provider starting today, to confirm whether they are proceeding or having their procedure deferred. Decisions regarding urgency of each case and whether the procedure will be deferred will be made by each patient’s clinical team and will be based on individual circumstances. Patients are encouraged not to call the hospital or their surgeon.

Click here to read more.


Reading recommendations

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, obituary

Stephen Bates, The Guardian

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who has died aged 99, was the Queen’s husband for 73 years. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, the family’s patriarch and a well-known figure in public life for two-thirds of a century until his final disappearance into seclusion in 2019.

This was a marathon stint on which he had originally embarked with resignation, in the belief that a life of walking several steps behind his wife, curbing his opinions – though not always his tongue – and being an appendage to the institution, without even being able to pass on his surname to his children, would turn him into “nothing but a bloody amoeba”.

Things did not work out that badly. He brought a relaxed, mostly affable, peppery, outspoken – and occasionally brusque – style to a ceremonial monarchy that would have been more hidebound, introverted, insipid and decidedly stuffy without him. He introduced badly needed fresh air into the royal family but, while his longevity ensured that he became an integral part of the family firm, he clearly never forgot his initial, impecunious, foreign and outsider status within the institution.

Canada adds jobs, unemployment falls to 7.5% despite 3rd wave of COVID-19

CBC News

Despite a third wave of COVID-19, Canada’s unemployment rate fell to a post-pandemic low of 7.5 per cent in March as the economy added 303,000 jobs, Statistics Canada said this morning.

That compares to a gain of 259,000 jobs in February, when the unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent.

Canada’s statistical agency said the economy added jobs even in some of the areas hit hardest by the pandemic, including retail, accommodation and food services. There were also gains in health care, construction and education.

Trudeau likely just getting started in bid to ease housing fever

Ari Altstedter, BNN Bloomberg

Almost as soon as it was announced, the Canadian government’s first attempt to rein in the country’s pandemic housing boom was dismissed as not enough.

Canada’s banking regulator signaled its intent Thursday to take a small step by tightening qualification rules for uninsured mortgages, worried that low interest rates will put new home buyers too far into debt. The move will effectively reduce by about 4% the size of mortgages households will be eligible to take.

With buyers straining ever more to get in amid the frenzy, expectations are building that move will be only the first step in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s efforts to keep a long-feared housing bubble from forming, and popping, on his watch. To do so, his government must bring the one part of the economy that’s at a boil down to a simmer, without triggering a sharp correction that could disrupt the nation’s recovery from COVID-19.

Niagara COVID status tracker (March 28-April 3)

Niagara’s most up-to-date COVID statistics, measured against the targets for the various stages of the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework, are presented below. This does not predict government policy, but is offered to give you an idea of where Niagara is situated and how likely a relaxation (or further restrictions) may be. These data are the most recent published by Niagara Region. The Grey-Lockdown level does not have its own metrics, but is triggered when the COVID-specific measurements in a Red-Control region have continued to deteriorate.

▲: Metric has increased since last published measurement

▼: Metric has decreased since last published measurement

December 18December 25January 1January 8January 15January 22January 29
Reproductive number1.
New cases per 100,000101.2267.3469.8575.8507.1295.5250.6
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)60.7178.7311.7376.9325.4182.7145.7
Percent of hospital beds occupied97%95.2%98.2%103.2%104.5%103.6%106%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied78.8%77.3%87.9%87.9%90.9%89.4%93.9%
Percentage of positive tests6.1%15.6%28.1%28.6%26.6%21.2%16.2%


  • Weekly Incidence Rate: the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week
  • Percent Positivity: the number of positive COVID-19 tests as a percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed
  • Rt: the reproductive rate, or the number of people infected by each case of the virus

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (April 9)

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 100,062

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 3,700

Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
United States75%64%
United Kingdom78%72%

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.
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