E Canada’s Job Market Recovery Will Be Painfully Slow

“(Canada’s) unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 10.2% in August. As a result of the COVID-19 economic shutdown, the unemployment rate had more than doubled from 5.6% in February to a record high of 13.7% in May. By way of comparison, during the 2008/2009 recession, the unemployment rate rose from 6.2% in October 2008 and reached a peak of 8.7% in June 2009. It took approximately nine years before it returned to its pre-recession rate.” (Statistics Canada, Sept. 4, 2020)

In March and April, the Canadian economy lost nearly 3 million jobs due to the coronavirus and the economic shutdown. Obviously, these heavy job losses were far higher than the maximum losses suffered during Canada’s last recession in 2008-09.

However, since May, the economy has been restoring jobs at what might appear to be a fast rate. But of course, we are in unusual times, and the response to pandemic itself accounts for these misleading rapid monthly job gains.

What follows here is a snapshot of Canada’s job market and the economy since the coronavirus recession began.

As of August, the economy had restored some 1.9 million of the 3 million lost jobs, but as the charts and table illustrate, Canada’s jobs recovery has a long way to go to reach former peak levels of employment.

Canada’s economy added 246,000 jobs in August, 418,000 in July, and nearly 1 million in June.

Of course, the total number of jobs lost in March and April numbered close to 3 million so that as of last month Canadian employment was still 5.7% below February’s pre-pandemic peak.

Even worse for the economy and the job market, however, is the observation that total hours worked in August was 8.6% below its February peak level.

(In comparison, payroll employment in the US was down 7.6% from its previous peak level.)

Based on the latest August employment figures, Canada’s service sector continues to record much higher job losses than the goods-producing industries.

1 2 3
View single page >> |
How did you like this article? Let us know so we can better customize your reading experience. Users' ratings are only visible to themselves.


Leave a comment to automatically be entered into our contest to win a free Echo Show.