Windsor's unemployment rate rose rose slightly in December

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Windsor is among the cities with the highest unemployment rates in Canada.

The city's unemployment rate stood at 11.1 per cent in December, according to Statistics Canada.

It rose by half a percentage point over November, when the jobless rate was 10.6 per cent.

Windsor and the surrounding region entered a lockdown on Dec. 13 due to rising COVID-19 cases, shuttering non-essential businesses.

In addition to the lockdown, says CEO of Windsor's Unemployed Help Centre, June Muir, fear of COVID-19 is likely what's keeping people out of the job market.

"It's not surprising it's higher, we're in a pandemic and people are very afraid to work," she said.

"People are afraid to take a job where they're going to be exposed, they're not comfortable and they worry about picking up the virus and then bringing it home to their family."

Muir said Windsorites are especially disadvantaged because the region doesn't have a lot of jobs that allow people to work from home.

One of the things her organization does is screen places of employment to ensure the work environment is safe.

Additionally, the Unemployed Help Centre offers services to help people find work, but Muir said it is finding that fewer people are also reaching out for assistance.

She said she suspects this might be because some people might not have the technology to access the virtual services the centre offers, but she added that they are available by phone too.

The national unemployment rate stands at 8.6 per cent for December.

Windsor is tied with Edmonton for the third-highest unemployment in the country.

Peterborough (13.5 per cent) and Barrie (12.1 per cent) have the Canada's highest rates of joblessness among major cities.