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Because of the way the federal government compiles statistics on unemployment rates, official data is normally about two months behind.

In addition, the C-K numbers are traditionally blended together with Windsor-Essex and Sarnia-Lambton, which have differing economies.

The last available figures show more people were employed in Chatham-Kent in the last two months of 2020, compared to neighbouring areas.

According to Kristy Jacobs, project manager for the Chatham-Kent Workforce Planning Board, unemployment in the municipality was set at 7.5 per cent in November 2020 and 8.5 per cent the following month.

In the same time frame, Sarnia-Lambton saw an 8.4 per cent unemployment rate in November 2020 and 9.2 per cent in December.

Windsor-Essex had the highest rate coming at 9.5 per cent in November and 10.3 per cent in December.

Jacobs says new numbers will be coming out towards the end of March.

In April 2020, one month into the pandemic, Chatham-Kent's unemployment rate was 11.2 per cent. The number varied throughtout the year and by December had decreased to 8.5 per cent.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Herald