Canada’s Unemployment Rate Falls Below Pre-Pandemic Level for First Time

Canada’s labour market continued to tighten last month, with the unemployment rate falling below pre-pandemic levels for the first time since February 2020.

According to Statistics Canada, the labour market added another 337,000 more jobs in February, causing the unemployment rate to fall one percentage point to 5.5%— just shy of the record-low observed in May 2019. The number of unemployed Canadians dropped 15.4% last month, bringing the total to 1.14 million, while the labour force participation rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 65.4% last month— bringing the figure in line with pre-pandemic levels observed in February 2020.

The majority of the job gains were concentrated across the private sector, and were widespread among all industries. Coinciding with the lifting of public health measures, the services-producing sector— which accounts for the accommodation and food services, information, culture and recreation, and retail trade sectors— grew 293,000 in February, substantially recouping losses from the month before.

The month of February also set a new record for total hours worked, jumping 1.7% compared to the record-high set in February 2020. Contrasted to the same period one year ago, average hourly wages rose 3.1%, or $0.92 in February; still, the cost of living for Canadians continues to trend upwards, with inflation levels exceeding 5% for the first time since 1991 in January.

Information for this briefing was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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