Nearly one million jobs were added in June as businesses forced to close amid the pandemic began to reopen. This follows months of record-breaking unemployment lows brought on by the coronavirus.
The agency says 953,000 jobs were added last month, including 488,000 full-time and 465,000 part-time positions.
Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate fell to 12.3% in June, a drop of 1.4 percentage points after hitting a record-high of 13.7% in May. While this was the largest monthly decline on record, the unemployment rate still remains far higher than it was in February, when it was 5.6%, the last month to have its numbers unaffected by COVID.
The latest report from the agency revealed that there are still some 3.1 million people affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns in March and April that forced businesses to close and workers to stay at home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus virus.
What’s more, the agency reported that nearly 2.5 million Canadians didn’t have jobs in June, either due to temporary or permanent layoffs, while the remainder are now working less than half their usual hours.
In June, Statistics Canada reported that employment rose slightly faster among women (6.1% or 467,000) than men (5.5% or 487,000). On a cumulative basis, however, after including May gains, employment among men had recovered to 92.3% of its February level, compared with 89.2% among women.
In Ontario, where the easing of COVID-19 restrictions began in late May and expanded on June 12, employment rose by 378,000 (5.9%) in June, the first increase since the COVID-19 economic shutdown. What’s more, the proportion of employed people who worked less than half of their usual hours declined by 6.5 percentage points to 14.1% in Ontario. The unemployment rate declined 1.4 percentage points to 12.2% as the number of people on temporary layoff declined.
Here in Toronto, where the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions was delayed until June 24, the recovery rate was slightly below that of Ontario in June. The employment level in Toronto was 89.6% of the February level, compared with 94.5% for the rest of the province.
“Today’s employment numbers are an indication that Ontario’s economy is beginning to stabilize as we continue to safely and gradually reopen the province,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
Fedeli says the latest job numbers are much more than a statistic as they represent “families, business owners and workers back at work and contributing to Ontario’s economic recovery.”