207,000 jobs lost in April due to pandemic’s 3rd wave



Statistics Canada said the economy lost 207,000 jobs in April as a new rise in COVID-19 cases led to renewed public health restrictions that closed businesses.

Employment fell by 207,000 (-1.1%) in April and the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 8.1%, the federal agency said.

Employment declined in both full-time (-129,000; -0.8%) and part-time (-78,000; -2.3%) work. The number of employed people working less than half their usual hours increased by 288,000 (+27.2%).

The number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000 to 5.1 million.

Total hours worked fell 2.7% in April, driven by declines in educational services, accommodation, and food services, as well as retail trade.

The labour underutilization rate, which captures the full range of people who are available and want to work, rose 2.3 percentage points to 17.0% in April.

The number of Canadians unemployed for 27 weeks or more increased to 486,000.

In April, employment fell in several industries directly impacted by public health restrictions, namely retail trade (-84,000); accommodation and food services (-59,000); and information, culture, and recreation (-26,000).

Accommodation and food services accounted for more than two-thirds (70.9%) of the overall employment gap (-503,000) compared with February 2020.

Employment increased in public administration (+15,000); professional, scientific, and technical services (+15,000); and finance, insurance, and real estate (+15,000), three industries where many activities can be performed remotely.

Employment in goods-producing industries was little changed in April.

Following gains over the previous two months, employment in Ontario fell 153,000 (-2.1%) in April.

Employment in British Columbia declined by 43,000 (-1.6%)—the first decrease since substantial employment losses in March and April 2020.

Employment increased in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, while there was little change in all other provinces.


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