The number of people employed in Canada almost caught up to pre-pandemic levels in August, according to the newest Labour Force Survey.
Canada’s employment rose by 90,000. These gains from August and the months prior brought Canada’s employment up to just 156,000 employees short of February 2020 levels, which is the closest it has come to pre-pandemic levels.
Statistics Canada’s data reflect labour market conditions during the week of August 15 to 21. By this time, most regions in Canada had rolled back public health measures to near-final stages. Plus, the border had opened up to fully vaccinated tourists from the U.S. For the first time since March 2020, the tourism industry could expand to potential clientele from the States.
Employment increases were mainly in services-producing industries, mostly in accommodation and food services. The information, culture and recreation industry also saw significant gains. The number of people working in construction increased for the first time since this past March.
Employment was up in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. All other provinces had little or no change.
Unemployment was at its lowest rate since the onset of the pandemic at 7.1 per cent, though the rate for visible minorities was little changed for the second month in a row.
Long-term unemployment dropped almost 7 per cent in August, but still remained 120 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.
Immigrants who landed in Canada within the past five years continued to see an upward trend in employment to nearly 70 per cent, more than six percentage points higher than August 2019. Part of the reason for this is due to the reduced number of new immigrants admitted in 2020.
Those who have been in Canada for more than five years had an employment rate of nearly 59 per cent, down one and a half percentage points year over year. The Canadian-born population had an employment rate of more than 61 per cent, down more than two percentage points from pre-COVID levels.
In August, the employment rate increased almost five percentage points among Filipino Canadians to about 78 per cent.
Employment for Black Canadians was down about four percentage points to nearly 72 per cent. White Canadians were employed at a rate of almost 71 per cent, little changed from the month before.
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