Unemployment Claims Slowing In Idaho But Remain At Historic Highs

Daniel Fowler
June 5, 2020

Nearly all B.C. employment increases were in the services-producing sector (up 41,000), led by accommodation and food services (up 12,000), educational services (up 12,000), and wholesale and retail trade (up12,000).

Finance Minister Carole James spoke about the new unemployment numbers at a briefing Friday morning, explaining the survey results are from the week of May 10 to 16, which is before B.C. entered Phase 2 of its restart plan.

Statistics Canada said nearly all of the employment increases in B.C. were in the services-producing sector, led by accommodation and food services, educational services, and wholesale and retail trade. Part-time workers accounted for two-fifths of the increase in employment.

For the self-employed, numbers held steady after a February to April decline of 79,000 or 2.7%.

"I think this probably counts as the largest job gain in Canadian history for one month, but it's also still just a drop in the bucket in terms of recovering the lost jobs over March and April", said Nathan Janzen, senior economist at RBC. Continued claims are made by people who remain unemployed for multiple weeks.

With restrictions easing, the survey found people beginning to return to their places of work.

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The job gains were far better than expected.

Nationwide, initial claims decreased by 12%, to just under 1.9 million last week, but continued claims nationwide rose more than 3% to almost 21.5 million people.

But, the number of people working at least half their usual hours and doing so from home was little changed at 4.9 million.

Employment in Canada unexpectedly increased by 290K in May. For hiring to continue at a solid pace, businesses will probably need to see signs that consumers are starting to resume their pre-outbreak habits of shopping and dining out.

With states allowing businesses to reopen, employment last month rose sharply in leisure and hospitality, construction, retail trade and education and health services, according to the data.

The unemployment rate for May would have been 19.6% if the report factored in people who stopped looking for work.

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