Employment rate in Canada: StatCan says 157,000 jobs were added in September, returning to pre-pandemic levels

OTTAWA – The Canadian economy reached a milestone last month as employment returned to pre-pandemic levels for the first time, recouping the remainder of the three million jobs lost more than a year with a gain of 157,000 jobs in September.

September’s earnings were prevalent and concentrated in full-time work, with notable gains in industries where many workers continue to work remotely. Some public sector gains were tied to the September 20 federal election.

Employment for middle-aged women, those between 25 and 54, finally resumed at the start of the school year, months after suffering a disproportionate burden of job losses in what has been described as ” secession ”.

With the bumpy return of last year’s historic drop in employment comes some caveats, with economists warning that we’re not clear yet.

While the unemployment rate hit 6.9% last month, down from 7.1% in August, the number of unemployed Canadians remains above pre-pandemic levels. The rate would have been 8.9% in September, down from 9.1% in August, if the agency had included in the calculations Canadians who wanted to work but were not looking for work.

The rebound to pre-pandemic levels also ignores population growth and where the country would have been absent from the shock of COVID-19. Statistics Canada has estimated that the economy will need 110,000 to 270,000 additional jobs to close this gap.

Brendon Bernard, senior economist at employment site Indeed, said this second milestone will likely be reached next year.

Some high-contact sectors such as retail trade, which lost 20,000 jobs in September, and accommodation and food services, which experienced their first decline in five months as 27,000 jobs were lost, remain more away from pre-pandemic levels despite easing restrictions.

“Ultimately, it is the pandemic that will decide when these sectors can fully regain their full health,” said BMO Chief Economist Douglas Porter.

“Although today is a cause for celebration, we must keep in mind that not all sectors, all regions have fully recovered by all means. The work is not done. “

The number of long-term unemployed without a job for six months or more changed little last month at 389,000, more than double the number recorded in February 2020.

Leah Nord, senior director of workforce strategies at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said there is little information as to why these workers are not successful in their ongoing job search.

“Let’s analyze that and take a look at this political toolkit beyond what we have done today, which is, make no mistake, necessary during the pandemic. But to bring us to recovery, what must we do? “

Anthony Mantione, senior economist at the Labor Market Information Council, said one reason could be a skills mismatch with available jobs. He suggested that focusing efforts on the long-term unemployed could be beneficial as they represent a quarter of all unemployed people will have more difficulty finding a job the longer they are unemployed.

Friday’s jobs report came two weeks before a series of federal supports expired on October 23. Trudeau’s Liberals are in a rush to reshape and extend the measures for another month, with the minority government politically pressured by the NDP not to reduce support.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland this week spoke of more targeted trade supports to lagging sectors like tourism. Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said the government would provide support to workers who need it on Friday.

“As Canadians are back to work and the recovery is underway across the country, we know the fourth wave is here and has hit some areas harder than others. At the same time, some sectors of the economy continue to face challenges, ”she said. in a report.

“That’s why our emergency supports are always there for Canadians and Canadian businesses who need them.

Likewise, the Bank of Canada has about two weeks to decide what to do with its stimulus package before its next interest rate announcement on October 27.

The central bank has been tracking the number of jobs in its deliberations over the trajectory of its policy rate and bond buying programs that aim to encourage low interest rates and boost consumer spending.

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said on Thursday that the frictions in the labor market stemmed from the unique circumstances of the pandemic, with some workers unwilling to return for health concerns, while the responsibilities for childcare can hold back others.

“What we see here is that it is more complicated to open the economy than to close it, and this process by which companies find workers and workers find the right jobs takes some time,” Macklem said.

He also said the central bank was tracking wage growth so that it did not become an independent driver of inflation, which exceeded the bank’s target.

Statistics Canada said wages were up 1.7% year-over-year in September and 4.6% from 2019, a pace Porter noted was good, but not strong.

CIBC chief economist Royce Mendes said September’s employment figures likely sealed the deal that the Bank of Canada would ease the pace of its bond buying program further during the announces hourly rates on October 27.

Here is a snapshot of employment in Canada in September (previous month’s figures in brackets):

  • Unemployment rate: 6.9% (7.1)

  • Employment rate: 60.9% (60.5)

  • Participation rate: 65.5% (65.1)

  • Number of unemployed: 1,421,800 (1,440,000)

  • Number of work: 19 131 200 (18 974 100)

  • Youth unemployment rate (15-24 years): 11.3% (11.6)

  • Unemployment rate for men (25 years and over): 6.4% (6.6)

  • Unemployment rate for women (25 years and over): 5.9% (6.0)

Here are last month’s unemployment rates by province (previous month’s figures in brackets):

  • Newfoundland and Labrador 13.1 percent (12.1)

  • Prince Edward Island 11.3% (10.6)

  • Nova Scotia 8.0 percent (7.8)

  • New Brunswick 9.3 percent (9.3)

  • Quebec 5.7% (5.8)

  • Ontario 7.3 percent (7.6)

  • Manitoba 5.6 percent (5.7)

  • Saskatchewan 6.3 percent (7.0)

  • Alberta 8.1 percent (7.9)

  • British Columbia 5.9% (6.2)

Statistics Canada also released seasonally adjusted three-month moving average unemployment rates for major cities. He cautions, however, that the numbers can fluctuate considerably because they are based on small statistical samples. Here are last month’s unemployment rates by city (previous month’s figures in brackets):

  • St. John’s, NL 6.3% (6.9)

  • Halifax 7.0 percent (7.5)

  • Moncton, NB 6.4 percent (6.0)

  • Saint John, NB 8.7% (8.7)

  • Saguenay, Que. 5.3 percent (5.5)

  • Quebec 4.1 percent (4.4)

  • Sherbrooke, Que. 4.5 percent (5.2)

  • Trois-Rivières, Que. 5.1 percent (5.0)

  • Montreal 6.7 percent (7.0)

  • Gatineau, Que. 4.4 percent (5.2)

  • Ottawa 5.9 percent (6.5)

  • Kingston, Ont. 7.2 percent (7.2)

  • Peterborough, Ont. 6.6 percent (6.2)

  • Oshawa, Ont. 7.6 percent (8.3)

  • Toronto 8.9 percent (9.3)

  • Hamilton, Ont. 6.3 percent (7.0)

  • St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont. 8.2 percent (10.5)

  • Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ont. 7.2 percent (7.0)

  • Brantford, Ont. 6.1 percent (5.7)

  • Guelph, Ont. 6.0 percent (7.2)

  • London, Ont. 7.3 percent (7.8)

  • Windsor, Ont. 10.4 percent (10.6)

  • Barrie, Ont. 6.2 percent (7.1)

  • Greater Sudbury, Ont. 8.4 percent (8.7)

  • Thunder Bay, Ont. 6.3 percent (6.0)

  • Winnipeg 6.4 percent (7.1)

  • Regina 6.1 percent (6.2)

  • Saskatoon 7.8% (8.1)

  • Calgary 8.9 percent (9.6)

  • Edmonton 8.2 percent (8.2)

  • Kelowna, BC 5.4% (5.7)

  • Abbotsford-Mission, BC 6.9% (5.9)

  • Vancouver 6.7 percent (7.2)

  • Victoria 4.2 percent (4.2)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 8, 2021

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