(The Canadian Press)

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada’s labour market gained 419,000 jobs last month as more parts of the economy were allowed to reopen, Statistics Canada reported Friday, moving past the halfway mark in recouping heavy losses at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The national unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June and sliding further away from the record-high 13.7 per cent in May.

But underneath the figures there was new data about the unequal impact of the historic shifts in the workforce as the statistics agency reported that rates were well above average for racialized workers.

South Asian, Arab and Black workers had seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates of 17 per cent or more, with rates even higher for women than men, compared with a rate of 9.3 per cent for people not designated a visible minority or identified as Indigenous.

Statistics Canada says the higher rates for racialized workers could be linked, in part, to their greater numbers in some of the industries hardest hit by pandemic-related shutdowns, such as accommodation and food services where employment dropped by more than half over March and April.

The details mark the first time the agency’s monthly labour force survey has captured disaggregated data by race and visible minority status, putting numbers to the narrative about disproportionate impacts on women, youth, low-wage workers, and racialized communities.

The overall figures were slightly better than expected, with the average economist estimate for a gain of 400,000 jobs in July and an unemployment rate of 11 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Combined with the 953,000 jobs gained in June and the 290,000 in May, the country was within 1.3 million jobs of the pre-pandemic level. About three million jobs were lost over March and April.

“The pace of increase in employment slowed in July relative to the prior month, and that’s likely to become a trend as the pace of easing in restrictions also slows down and the number of Canadians on temporary layoff falls,” CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note.

“The good news is that with virus cases low in Canada at moment, the country isn’t facing an immediate risk of having to tamp down activity again.”

Most employment gains in July were in part-time work, which increased to the tune of 345,000 positions, while full-time positions increased by 73,000.

Part-time gains have outpaced full-time work in each of the past three months, Statistics Canada noted, with part-time work within five per cent of its pre-COVID-19 levels compared with full-time work, which is still down 7.5 per cent from February before the pandemic struck.

The agency says nearly 30 per cent of people working less than 30 hours a week in July would have preferred full-time work, an increase from the 22.2 per cent recorded one year earlier.

Statistics Canada says the finding suggests that employers, at least for now, may be limiting the number of hours being offered even as restrictions ease.

About 266,0000 more people were looking for work in July, the third consecutive month of gains, but that’s still down almost 300,000 from where it was in February.

The agency says the unemployment rate would have been 13.8 per cent in July if it had included in calculations those who wanted to work but didn’t look for a job.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Employment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island under a thunderstorm watch tonight

Environment Canada forecasts downpour and possible thunder and lightning

B.C. Greens hurrying to get candidates in place for provincial election

No candidates announced yet in Nanaimo, Nanaimo-North Cowichan or Parksville-Qualicum

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley seeks reelection

Routley has served as MLA for the area since 2005.

Survey to gauge interest in connecting Cowichan to Nanaimo by bus

People can fill out the survey until Oct. 16.

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read