The unemployment rate in the economic region that includes Grey and Bruce counties jumped in March.
The Four County Labour Market Planning Board reports the jobless rate rose by 1.3 percentage points to 6.9 per cent last month in the area from Stratford to the Bruce Peninsula.
In all, the local economy shaved 5,400 full-time jobs which was partially offset in gains of 1,400 part-time positions.
The provincial unemployment rate also rose last month by half a point to 5.9 per cent, while nationally it held steady at 5.8 per cent.
"For the first time in a long time we are actually above the provincial rate," Four County Labour Market Planning Board Executive Director Gemma Mendez-Smith says. "However, reading that report we are working with unadjusted numbers for seasonality."
Mendez-Smith says from 2015-19 the average unemployment rate in March in the region has been 6.2 per cent.
"I would say March 2018 was an anomaly where we saw a 4.9 per cent unemployment rate," Mendez-Smith explains. "That was the lowest we've seen in the last five years."
According to the Labour Market Planning board, 1,800 jobs were lost in construction last month, 1,200 in healthcare and social assistance, 1,000 in both manufacturing and wholesale/retail trade and 800 in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.