(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

Editorial: More LKB neighbours leads to more understanding

“Both proposals for Kinsmen Park serve each party’s stakeholders well. Each has the intention of strengthening and growing community. But only one truly offers a chance to heal the past and change the narrative for the future.”

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Creston’s temporary worker camp for cherry-pickers wraps up for season

The camp provided accommodations for up to 50 temporary workers during the cherry-picking season

Creston RCMP report: 62 calls for assistance from Sept. 14 to 21

On Sept. 18, police attended to a report of a male causing a disturbance at a Creston business after he was denied use of the washroom facilities

Creston Fire Rescue report: 10 calls for action between Sept. 14 and 21

CFR responded to a carbon monoxide alarm in the area of Regina Street on Sept. 20, and found moderate levels of carbon monoxide after searching the residence with a gas monitor

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Most Read