Canadian economy slowly bouncing back to pre-COVID levels
By Jessica Berget, Assistant Editor
Despite Canada adding over 246,000 new jobs in the last month and BC’s unemployment rate also steadily declining, it’s still tough finding a job in Vancouver.
It’s been six months since many people were laid off because of COVID-19 safety restrictions to stay home, but the economy is slowly and steadily bouncing back. According to a Statistics Canada labour force survey, BC’s unemployment rate reported the largest increase, which was 10.7 in August—down from 11.1 the month prior. The number of employed people increased in July by more than 15,000.
Vancouver has also seen gains in employment in the last month when the unemployment rate for the city went down from 13.3 to 12.8. Yet, the number of people looking to go back into work has also increased. In a Global News article, it is reported that about 10,500 more jobs were created in Vancouver. However, the rate of people looking for work has also increased, still making it difficult for many workers to find positions. As a result, local unemployment grew from 11.6 percent in July to 12.4 percent to August, according to a Statistics Canada Labour Force table.
The majority of job gains went to full-time positions which recording 206,000 more jobs. Part-time jobs rose from 40,000 from July. Employment rates also rose faster for women over men for the third consecutive month. Statistics Canada reports women gained 150,000 more positions in August while men gained about 96,000.
The sectors of job also have scattered gains. Manufacturing jobs are up 6,000 since July, while more than 10,000 retail jobs have disappeared. Another 6,400 jobs have been created in the food and accommodation sector. The pace of job gains slowed in August as compared to July when 419,000 jobs were gained.
Statistics Canada says August’s unemployment would have been more had it accounted for people who wanted to go back to work, but didn’t look for a job, presumably because of the economic shutdown from COVID-19. “These numbers this month, prove one more time, workers are prepared to go back to work provided there is work for them to go back to,” says Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff.
BC government will announce an economic recovery plan later in the month with decisions how and where to spend $2.5 billion—including money for transportation and other municipalities.
Before the pandemic, BC’s unemployment rate was 5 percent.