Finally, some good news! The February job market is looking good!
Stats Canada released the February 2021 Labour Force Survey that concluded stronger than expected job growth. The easing of the latest restrictions and lockdowns revived the labour market; a pleasant surprise.
Canada’s economy has been resilient but we still remain at risk because of a possible third wave brought on by Covid variants and the easing of restrictions.
Employment rose by 1.4% in February (259,200 jobs), with the jobless rate falling by 1.2 percent to 8.2%. This is the lowest rate since the first lockdown in March 2020.
Ontario and Quebec lead the way with particular gains in retail, accommodation and food services. These sectors of course were the hardest hit during the lockdowns and are predominantly low wage occupations.
In April 2020 5.5 million people were affected by the pandemic and 3 million dropped into unemployment, absences from work were 2.5 million.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 1 million Canadians are still out of work.
Young women aged 15 – 24 have been disproportionately affected by the closures accounting for 30.2% of the total unemployment.
High income earners lead the way!
High income earners making more than $25 an hour have seen net job gains over the past year. This could be a reason why we’ve seen such enormous activity and price increases in the housing market.
Although these employment numbers are promising we are concerned about an uneven recovery because most of the losses in three major sectors; accommodation and food services, culture and recreation and other services which include personal care like hair salons are at risk. Especially if there are more lock downs.
Bank of Canada
On March 10 the Bank of Canada held its overnight rate at .25% which caused the prime interest rates to stay put.
We’re a long way from full recovery but the speed of vaccination country wide which is ramping up, should put us well on the way.