Canada’s Unemployment Rate Jumps to 8.1% in April Amid Third Wave of Covid-19 Restrictions

Canada’s labour market recovery hit a standstill in April, as a third wave of Covid-19 infections and subsequent lockdowns led to employment losses across affected sectors.

According to the latest Labour Force Survey published by Statistics Canada on Friday, the labour market lost a total of 207,100 jobs in April, forcing the unemployment rate to hike 0.6 percentage points to 8.1%. The latest figures reflect a reversal in the jobs recovery, as a surge in cases prompted the tightening of public health measures across several key provinces at the end of March and beginning of April.

The majority of the employment declines were concentrated across several industries that have been directly impacted by pandemic restrictions. Employment levels in retail trade fell by 84,000 last month, putting the industry 4.9% below pre-pandemic levels recorded in February 2020. Similarly, the accommodation and food services industry lost a total of 59,000 jobs, and remains 29.8% below its pre-Covid-19 level. The information, culture, and recreation industry also suffered a setback, as employment declined 3.6%, and eliminated approximately 40% of the gains observed in early March.

Additionally, Statistics Canada also reported that long-term unemployment— which is the number of people unemployed for over 27 weeks— jumped 4.6% in April, as those that lost their jobs in 2020 continue to flow into this category. Among those unemployed long-term, 312,000 have been without a job for more than 52 weeks; when compared to February 2020, under one-third of the figure had been unemployed for at least a year.

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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