This morning, Statistics Canada released its June 2021 Workforce Survey showing employment increased by 230,700 (1.2%) in June, recovering from a cumulative decline in the previous two months. is 275,000. Total hours worked little changed. The national unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 7.8%.
Jobs continue to swing back and forth as different COVID waves spur lockdowns and reopenings. Hopefully we’re on the cusp of final reopening. Services account for all revenues. Hospitality jobs were the fastest growing industry, adding 101,000 positions as expected, but they are still far below pre-virus levels. Restrictions are expected to continue to ease throughout the summer, which should mean more solid gains over the next few months. Other sectors with growth from the reopening are retail/wholesale (+78,000), education (+26,000) and healthcare (+20,500). Commodities all fell across the board, with losses focused on construction (-23,000) and manufacturing (-12,000).
In addition to the headline surge, one of the bigger stories in this report was a sharp 0.6 ppt increase in engagement to 65.2%. That’s the biggest increase in a year and puts it 3-4 times away from pre-COVID levels. Compare that to the US, where the participation rate is still nearly 2 percentage points lower than at the beginning of 2020. The increase in the participation rate has limited the decline in the unemployment rate from 0.4 percentage points to less. 7.8%, there is still some wood to cut there. The increased participation rate should alleviate some concerns about widespread labor shortages.
Much of the increase has been in sectors exposed to the pandemic, such as retail, food and accommodation, which have been most affected by the new containment measures. Employment in accommodation and food services increased by 101,000. The retail sector added 75,000 jobs.
Rising vaccination rates and falling COVID-19 cases have allowed the country to finally reopen restaurants, bars and retail stores after months of closures. Ontario began allowing patio dining earlier this month, and several cities in Quebec have relaxed restrictions even further, allowing indoor dining for the first time this year.
With June’s increase, Canada recovered 2.65 million of the 3 million jobs lost at the height of last year’s pandemic. The country created 263,900 part-time jobs, of which full-time employment fell by 33,200.
Job growth in June was purely part-time and concentrated among youth aged 15 to 24, mostly young women. The highest increases were in accommodation and food services and retail trade, consistent with the lifting or easing of public health restrictions affecting these industries in late May and early June in many jurisdictions.
The number of employed people working less than half their normal hours fell by 276,000 people (-19.3%) in June. Total working hours were little changed and 4% below pre-pandemic levels.
Job gains in June were in part-time jobs, up 264,000 (+8.0%) after a total loss of 132,000 in the previous two months. The overall level of part-time employment is essentially the same as in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The month-on-month gain was driven by accommodation and food services and retail trade – two sectors where part-time workers account for above-average employment rates – and is concentrated among young people.
After falling 143,000 in the previous two months, full-time employment was little changed in June and 336,000 (-2.2%) below pre-pandemic levels.
Profits were boosted by private sector employees, while self-employment declined.
The number of private sector employees increased by 251,000 (+2.1%) in June, following two monthly declines. As of June, the number of private sector employees was 2.5% (-313,000) lower than in February 2020.
In the public sector, employment increased by 43,000 (+1.1%) in June, bringing this to 180,000 (+4.6 percent) from pre-pandemic levels. Employment in this sector has trended upward after the initial wave of the pandemic, particularly due to the rise of health care and social assistance services, public administration and education.
The number of self-employed workers decreased by 63,000 (-2.3%) in June and decreased by 7.2% (-207,000) compared to February 2020. Self-employment is a broad category that includes workers. in various situations, including employers of incorporated or unincorporated businesses and independent contractors. Compared to June 2019, the decrease in the number of self-employed people is common across many industries and is concentrated among those who are self-employed with paid assistance.
The employment rate remains below pre-pandemic levels.
To fully understand current and emerging labor market trends, it is essential to look at employment change in the context of population change, which totaled 1.1% (+334,000) since May. February 2020 to June 2021. To keep pace with this population growth and maintain a steady employment rate — that is, employment as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over — employment will have to increase. 203,000 more. Instead, total employment in June was 340,000 people lower than in February 2020 and the employment rate was 1.7 percentage points lower (60.1% vs 61.8%). “
The number of Canadians working from home has dropped by nearly 400,000
Among Canadians who worked at least half their normal hours in June, the number of people working from home fell by nearly 400,000 to 4.7 million. For 2.6 million of these people, working from home represents an adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it is not their usual workplace. At the same time, the number of people working at locations other than home increased by about 700,000 to 12.3 million.
Nearly a third (31.4%) of workers aged 25 to 54 and more than a quarter (27.2%) of those 55 and older worked from home in June. Due to their concentration in industries where working from home is less feasible, such as accommodation and catering services, a much smaller proportion of 15-24 year olds (12.9%) ) did so.
Regionally, Ontario and Quebec lead higher, although BC and Nova Scotia also posted solid gains. Interestingly, even as restrictions were eased across most of the country, only five provinces reported job gains.
The jobs report is the last major piece of economic data ahead of next week’s Bank of Canada policy decision, which is expected to further back its stimulus efforts. The Bank of Canada was one of the first banks from advanced economies to switch to a less expansionary policy, having cut purchases of Canadian government bonds to $3 billion weekly from a peak of $5 billion last year. last.
Analysts expect the figure to drop to C$2 billion per week at the July 14 meeting before eventually falling to a weekly rate of around US$1 billion early next year. Aside from falling bonds, the market has had at least one rate hike this time next year.
The Canadian economy still has 340,000 jobs left at pre-pandemic levels. Unemployment was below 6% before the pandemic.
With vaccination rates rising and restrictions easing, economists are predicting a strong recovery in the second half of the year. According to a Bloomberg News survey of economists earlier this month, Canada’s expansion is said to be accelerating to a 9.1% annualized rate in the third quarter, with a 6% increase in three months. end of 2021. Consumer and business confidence in the outlook has recently hit a record high.