Employment Statistics in Canada – An Update
Employment numbers were beginning to exhibit a positive upwards trend in the second half of 2020 as most provinces relaxed COVID-19 related restrictions.
Statistics Canada shared that employment increased by 62,000 in November 2020, following a rise of 84,000 in October 2020.
Then came the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
This led to another round of stricter COVID-19 restrictions being put into place, particularly in Ontario and Quebec.
This has resulted in employment falling to its lowest level since August 2020.
Statistics Canada confirmed that employment fell by 213,000 in January. Some of the key findings of the Labour Force Survey were:
I. Most of the losses were in the part-time work segment (primarily in Quebec and Ontario retail trade sectors). Employment in the part-time segment fell by 225,000 which is about -6.7%.
II. The unemployment rate increased to 9.4%. This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since August 2020. In addition to this, the number of long-term unemployed individuals reached a record high of 512,000.
III. As expected, employment fell in industries that were impacted by the public health measures put into place to curb the transmission of the virus. The declines were -8.2% in accommodation and food services, -7.4% in retail trade, and -2.4% in information, culture, and recreation.
IV. Though employment did increase in certain segments too. for instance, employment in the construction sector increase by 39,000, primarily due to gains in Quebec and Alberta.
V. While self-employment had fallen in December, the remained steady throughout the month of January.
VI. One of the most interesting findings was the increase in the number of individuals working from home. Among Canadians who worked at least half their usual hours, the number working from home grew by about 700,000 to 5.4 million. This number even surpassed the high of 5.1 million recorded in April. This increase can be attributed to the general increase in adoption of remote work across the board.
While the numbers have fallen in January, analysts are optimistic that unemployment will decline as provinces gradually open up businesses and ease certain restrictions.
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