Unemployment rate hits record low
According to Statistics Canada, employment in Canada fell by 43,200 jobs in June from the previous month, the first decline since January and fully offsetting the increase of 39,800 recorded in May. This marks the first employment decline not associated with a tightening of public health restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic.
The agency indicated the employment loss in June from May was almost entirely due to a decrease of 51,000 jobs among workers aged 55 and older; there was little change in total job numbers among youth aged 15 to 24 and the core-age population aged 25 to 54.
The numbers came as a surprise to economists, who had been expecting the economy to add about 20,000 jobs during the month, CBC reported.
Positively however, Canada’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points in June to a new record low of 4.9% — the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976 — as fewer people looked for work. Total employment in Canada was 19.6 million in June.
June’s employment decline was driven by losses in part-time jobs, which fell by 39,100. Full-time employment fell by 4,000. Self-employment declined, while the number of employees in both the public and the private sectors held steady.
Jobs fell by 76,000 in the services-producing sector with losses spread across several industries, including retail trade. However, the goods-producing sector saw an increase of 33,000 jobs in June, with gains in construction and manufacturing.
Average hourly wages for employees increased 5.2%, or C$1.54, on a year-over-year basis in June to $31.24, compared with a year-over-year increase of 3.9%, C$1.18, in May.
By province, employment decreased in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec, while there were gains in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.
Looking at just Ontario, the number of jobs fell by 24,700 to a total of more than 7.7 million. The province gained 27,900 full-time jobs but lost 52,500 part-time jobs. Ontario’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in June from 5.5% in May.