Unemployment rates double in the Eastern Townships

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Unemployment rates double in the Eastern Townships
(Photo : Courtesy)

The unemployment rate in the Eastern Townships has more than doubled over the last four years due in large part to a massive spike caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mouvement des Chômeurs et Chômeuses de l’Estrie (MCCE), a non-profit organization in Sherbrooke, confirmed to The Record that unemployment jumped from 6 per cent to 13 per cent during that time span.
The MCCE works closely with Townshippers struggling with unemployment. The non-profit provides advice and information to help Quebecers get back on their feet. It hasn’t been an easy year, said Sarah Beaudoin, the organization’s legal and communication assistant.
The federal government has created a number of programs to reinvigorate the job market, including generating interest to become a PAB (beneficiary worker). However, it is not drawing many participants, Beaudoin explained, people are reluctant to switch fields.
“I think it’s understandable that the government asks people to change their field of work because of their needs right now, but on a personal level, it’s very difficult to just change your field of work because, well, we made it,” she said.
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