The closures of non-essential services to contain the spread of coronavirus was devastating for the Canadian labour market, but the country’s employment rate bounce back in June.
Recent figures provided in the June report of BMO’s Labour Market Card indicates that Canada has now recovered forty-one (41) per cent of the jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Current unemployment rates in Canada were at twelve (12) per cent in June, up to six (6) per cent since last year.
New Brunswick (NB) fared better, with unemployment up only two (2) per cent since last year to ten (10) per cent. It is the only province in Canada with a current unemployment rate below 10 per cent.
The city of Moncton, for instance, one of New Brunswick’s three biggest urban centres, lost only three (3) per cent of the jobs it had a year earlier and has an unemployment rate of Nine (9) per cent, well below the national average of twelve (12) per cent.
While Prince Edward Island (PEI), Nova Scotia (NS), and Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) usually experience higher unemployment rate, are recording year-over-year increases below the Canadian average.
While Quebec experienced the biggest decline in employment due to the coronavirus crisis at nineteen (19) per cent, it also experienced the quickest recovery of all provinces in June, with a decline of only eight (8) per cent from pre-Covidien levels.
Ontario‘s current unemployment rates, its employment fell from COVID-19, and its employment recovery rate is on par with overall Canadian levels. In June, Ontario saw an unemployment rate of twelve (12) per cent.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba also recorded smaller declines in the unemployment rate than other provinces, as well as the second and third smallest provincial falls in percentage points from pre-crisis levels (respectively seven (7) per cent and 7.3 per cent). These two Prairie provinces, along with Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, are among the five Canadian cities with unemployment rates below the national average.
Alberta‘s reliance on oil compounded the economic problems due to coronavirus pandemic and the province was still at ten (10) per cent below pre-COVID employment levels.
British Columbia province had an unemployment rate of thirteen (13) per cent in June, up to 8.4 per cent points from its pre-crisis levels.
Labour markets in major Canadian cities, such as Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary suffered the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Canada Added 953, 000 more jobs in June
The Canadian economy began to recover from the three (3) million jobs lost between February and April when coronavirus restrictions started to be lifted across the country.
The country’s economic recovery began quite moderately began in May, with 290,000 people returning back to work. But, the trend continued at an accelerated pace and the number of people returning to work rose massively to 953,000 in June.
Over the last two (2) months, the labour market has recovered by forty per cent and over 1.24 million people have found employment.
Federal Government Extends Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the government will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program until December of 2020.
The CEWS program was established to help businesses keep their employees on the payroll and to encourage employers affected by the economic difficulties caused by the COVID-19 to rehire laid-off workers. The program covers Seventy-five (75) per cent of wages, to a maximum of $847 per week, for those workers at eligible businesses and non-profit organizations.
Canada hopes that this program will give workers the certainty that they will get the support they needed during this time of crisis and that it will also contribute to cutting down the rate of unemployment in the country.