Canadian employment gained 62k jobs in November (0.3%, m/m), increasing in Ontario, BC, and the Atlantic provinces. This is the seventh consecutive month of increases, putting national employment within 574k of its pre-COVID February level. The national unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 8.5%, continuing the steady fall from the record high of 13.7% in May. Compared to the same month last year, Canadian employment was down by 2.5% (-482k).
In BC, employment grew by 24k (1.0%, m/m) in November, following a gain of 34k in the previous month. The province is now at 99% of its pre-COVID February employment level. The unemployment rate fell for the sixth consecutive month, down by 0.9 percentage points to 7.1%. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, employment increased by 18k jobs (1.2%, m/m). Compared to one year ago, employment in BC was down by 1.8% (-47K) jobs.
Despite the new restrictions introduced and new COVID-related workplace safety requirements, employment still grew in BC but at a slower rate than the previous months. Gains in full-time work were partly offset by losses in part-time employment. Several industries saw increases, including accommodation and food services, transportation and warehousing, wholesale and retail trade, and construction. On the whole, we can expect employment growth to continue to slow as COVID-19 cases rise, and some provinces could prolong containment measures well into December and early 2021, as Quebec just announced heightened restrictions around holiday gatherings.
For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.