Black, Asian workers see biggest jobless rate spikes in Canada

Marco Green
August 8, 2020

Canada's economy added 419,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate dropped to 10.9 per cent, but this still leaves the Canadian economy with 1.3 million fewer jobs than it had in February.

More generally, the region shed part-time jobs at a much greater rate than full-time ones - again, reflecting the fact part-timers are concentrated in hospitality and tourism.

"Hard-hit areas of the service sector, which were furthest from pre-pandemic levels in June, continued their rebound last month, with accommodation and food service accounting for an outsized share of job growth", said Indeed economist Brendon Bernard.

"Although public health restrictions had been substantially eased in most parts of the country-with the exception of some regions of Ontario, including Toronto-some measures remained in place, including physical distancing requirements and restrictions on large gatherings", Statistics Canada said. In July, employment in the province grew by 2.2 per cent.

The Liberals estimate some four million people receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be moved onto employment insurance in the fall when the aid program begins winding down. Those who do work, generally earn less by way of tips.

Most of July's growth was in part-time work (345,000), which had suffered significantly worse losses in March and April than full-time work, given its prevalence in hard-hit industries such as retail trade, tourism and restaurants. The unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent in February. Statistics Canada says that employment in Toronto has now reached 89.9 per cent of its February, pre-COVID-19 level.

The pace at which women gained back jobs moved faster than men in July, with about 275,000 jobs compared with 144,000 for men, but women remain further behind since the start of the pandemic.

In June, the jobless rate was 12.3 per cent, and it hit a record high of 13.7 per cent in May.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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