Some three (3) million jobs were lost following lockdowns introduced across Canada in March to contain the spread of the COVID-19. However, new jobs added shows Canada’s economic recovery is on the right track.
Currently, more people are now back to work. The results of the August Labor Force Survey released on Friday shows that the recent moderating of public health restrictions has meant more employment for Canadian citizens in general and for immigrants in particular.
In August, employment increased by 1.4% for Canadians, rising to within 5.7% of pre-COVID levels. In addition, employment for landed immigrants rosed by 1.6% while employment for recent immigrants was up 2.2%, an increase mainly driven by the reduction in the population of recent immigrants due to lower new immigrants arrivals during the coronavirus pandemic.
The huge majority of the employment gains were in full-time positions.
Employment growth was focused on the services sector (+1.5%) as opposed to the goods-producing sector.
The services sector growth was concentrated in educational services, food services, and accommodation, and the “other services” sector which includes hard-hit hair and beauty salon.
“In the goods manufacturing sector, gains in productions were partially offset by declines in natural resources.”
While these gains are delightful news for all Canadians, some disparities however exist in the employment picture.
The labor force participation rate for men is now within 0.2% before COVID-19 levels while for women it is 1.3% below before COVID-19 levels – which shows that many women are engaged in non-employment related sectors such as child-care.
Unemployment rates remain higher for visible minorities group as compared to individuals who are not members of any visible minority group.
The national unemployment rate of 11.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted) compared to 17.9 percent for Arabs, 17.6 percent for Black, and 16.6 percent for Southeast Asian populations.
Low-wage workers and youth have employment levels only 86.0 per cent as of February of 2020 levels while other employees have nearly returned to pre-COVID levels (99.1 per cent of February employment level). This is entirely driven by the concentration of low-wage employments in hard-hit services-producing sectors.
As such, there remains enough room for improvement. Canada still needs to recover 1.1 million jobs that have been lost since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.
This new study, however, shows that Canada’s economic recovery is moving in the right direction. Approximately 1.9 million jobs have been regained in recent months. In addition to the 246,000 jobs created in August, another 419,000 were regained in July, and 1.2 million were regained in May and June.