Canada added 418,500 jobs in July as economies reopen

Daniel Fowler
August 8, 2020

Statistics Canada says the July unemployment rate for the region from Brockville to Ottawa and east to the Quebec border jumped to 9.6 per cent from 9.4 per cent in July. The rate was substantially higher for South Asian (17.8 per cent), Arab (17.3 per cent) and Black (16.8 per cent) Canadians.

In Ontario, employment rose by 151,000, or 2.2 per cent, in July, building on an increase of 378,000 in June and bringing employment to 91.7 per cent of its pre-pandemic February level.

About 5.5 million Canadians in the workforce were affected by the shutdown as 3.0 million saw a loss of employment and 2.5 million in absences from work, according to Stats Can.

The agency said the national labour force gained 419,000 jobs in June as more parts of the economy were allowed to reopen. That number is now 2.3 million, 58 per cent lower than in April. "Monthly employment data, historically among the leading market movers in foreign exchange, has been relatively toothless of late", said Don Curren, market strategist and content editor, at Cambridge Global Payments.

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Adding to the picture of an uneven labor market, several minority groups had significantly higher jobless rates than the majority, the data show. Those who do work, generally earn less by way of tips.

Part-time gains have outpaced full-time work in each of the past three months, Statistics Canada noted, with 345,000 more positions in July compared to an increase in full-time jobs of 73,000.

Statcan estimated the capital area supported 96,300 part-time positions in July, down 21 per cent year over year from the previous total of 121,800.

Nationally, about 266,0000 more people were looking for work in July as temporary layoffs declined, marking the third consecutive month of gains, but still down nearly 300,000 from where it was in February.

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