Special COVID-19 – A review of hirings and dimissals – May 2021

As vaccination campaigns continue across the country, the third wave has wreaked havoc and forced some provincial governments to shut down businesses and businesses. What has been the effect of these measures on employment?

The data from Statistics Canada’s most recent Labor Force Survey (LFS) is clear: the tightening of sanitation measures in April increased unemployment in the country. Indeed, the April LFS revealed a 0.6 percentage point increase in the Canadian unemployment rate, which reached 8.1%. In all, 207,000 jobs were lost. The largest job losses were recorded in Ontario (-153,000) and British Columbia (-43,000).

However, in Quebec, the unemployment rate rose from 6.4% to 6.6%, a slight increase of 0.2 percentage point. It also increased in Saskatchewan (+ 1.7%) and New Brunswick (+ 1.1%).

Sectors that are faltering

Note that of the 207,000 job losses recorded in the country, almost half affected young people aged 15 to 24. The reason is simple: health measures have again affected the sectors where they are most present, namely those of retail trade (-84,000), accommodation and catering services (-59,000) as well as information, culture and leisure (-26,000).

Businesses also had a difficult April. This is the case of American giant Stanley Black & Decker, which has closed its abrasive wheel manufacturing plant in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. Some of the 200 employees lost their jobs.

Sectors that hire

April also had its share of good news. Employment increased notably in public administration (+15,000) as well as professional, scientific and technical services (+15,000).

The Canadian government has also worked to create summer jobs for young people between the ages of 15 and 30. Thus, more than 150,000 positions are available. Various areas are involved, including the food industry, recreational sports, marketing, public relations, landscaping and agricultural work.

That’s not all: other sectors are hiring on a large scale. This is the case in the manufacturing industry, in particular, which is experiencing a major labor shortage. In April, we learned that businesses in Mauricie and Center-du-Québec would have to hire nearly 900 employees in the coming years to maintain their activities. Among other things, positions for welders and machinists are posted.

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