Closing non-essential services to slow the spread of COVID-19 was devastating for the Canadian labor market, but the country’s employment rate rebounded in June.
Recent figures provided in the June issue of BMO’s Labor Market Map suggest that Canada has now recovered 41% of the jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. The current unemployment rate in Canada was 12.3% in June, up 6.7% from last year.
New Brunswick (NB) performed best, with unemployment increasing only 2% from last year to 9.9%. It is the only province with a current unemployment rate of less than 10 percent.
The city of Moncton, for example, one of the three largest urban centers in New Brunswick, lost only 2.7% of the jobs it held a year earlier and has an unemployment rate of 9, 1%, well below the national average of 12.3%.
Two other cities in the Atlantic provinces, St. John’s (NL) and Halifax (NS), were among the top ten cities in terms of labor market performance. To date, the Atlantic provinces have been the least affected by the pandemic.
While Quebec experienced the largest drop in employment due to COVID-19, at 18.7%, it also experienced the fastest recovery of any province in June, with a drop of only 7, 8% compared to pre-Covidien levels.
Ontario‘s current unemployment rate, its decline in employment from COVID-19, and its recovery from employment are comparable to those in Canada. In June, Ontario had an unemployment rate of 12.2%.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan also recorded lower unemployment declines than the other provinces, as well as the second and third lowest provincial declines in percentage points from pre-crisis levels (7.2% and 7 respectively, 3%). These two Prairie provinces, along with New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario, are among the five Canadian provinces with unemployment rates below the national average.
Alberta‘s dependence on oil compounded economic hardship due to COVID-19 and the province was still 10.3 percent below pre-lust employment levels.
British Columbia had an unemployment rate of 13% in June, up 8.4 percentage points from its pre-crisis levels.
The labor markets of major Canadian cities, such as Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary, were the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
953,000 Jobs added in June
The Canadian economy began to recover from the 3 million jobs lost between February and April when restrictions on coronaviruses began to be lifted across the country.
The country’s economic recovery started fairly moderately in May, with 290,000 people returning to work. However, the trend continued at an accelerated pace, and the number of people returning to work increased sharply to 953,000 in June.
In the past two months, the job market has recovered by 40% and more than 1.24 million people have found jobs.
Extension of the Canadian wage subsidy to help businesses retain and rehire employees
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the federal government will extend the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program until December of this year.
The CEWS program was created to help companies keep their employees on the payroll and to encourage employers affected by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic to rehire laid-off workers. The program covers 75 percent of wages, up to a maximum of $ 847 per week, for workers ineligible businesses and non-profit organizations.
The federal government hopes this program will give workers the confidence that they will get the support they need during this crisis, and that it will also help reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
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