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Canada Employment Growth Slows In November 2020

Canada employment growth slowed in November amidst a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 62,000 net new jobs created, but the unemployment recovery rate continued to show some improvements, the government statistical agency said on Friday, December 4.

According to Statistics Canada, the employment rate increased by 0.3% in the month, following an increase of 0.5% in the previous, October and an average of 2.7% per month from May to September.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell by 0.4 percentage points to 8.5%, continuing a steady fall from the record high 13.7% in May, and beating analyst forecasts.

A lockdown in the spring to slow the spread of the coronavirus illness had put three (3) million Canadians out of work.

By November, the total number of unemployed Canadians decreased to 1.7 million. Many people struggling to find work, however, dropped out of the labour market.

According to Statistics Canada, the November employment rate fell in industries most directly impacted by public health restrictions such as tourism, accommodation and food services.

On the other hand, it approached or surpassed pre-pandemic levels were working from home or physical distancing was more feasible, including scientific, professional, and technical services, the agency said.

Most of the new jobs were full-time. Employment increased significantly for women and those under twenty-four (24) and declined slightly for men.

About 4.6 million Canadians worked from home.

New hospitals and schools employments mostly drove a small uptick in public sector employment.

Employment growth, meanwhile, resumed in transportation, construction, and warehousing.

It rose for the 3rd consecutive month in the insurance, finance, real estate, rental, and leasing industries to surpass pre-pandemic levels.

The resources sector also recovered, as did retail trade – but the latter was predicted to fall in December as some regions imposed new COVID-19 measures on recreational facilities, restaurants, and retail businesses.

Self-employment as a group remained farthest from pre-pandemic levels, down 4.7%.

Variations across provinces

Employment rose in British Columbia, Ontario, and all four Atlantic provinces. British Columbia came in just shy of February levels at -1.5 percent.

Employment in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick had returned to pre-pandemic levels in November. Prince Edward Island acquired about 1,000 jobs.

Manitoba lost about 18,000 jobs lost in November. Nearly all of these job losses were in part-time work. The decline clashed with tighter public health measures introduced early on in November.

The proportion of people with a job or business held steady in Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Alberta. Employment levels in Alberta are the farthest from pre-COVID levels at -4.9 percent.