Despite the rise of the delta variant and its consequences, economic activity is in full swing, and employment is up for a third consecutive month in Canada. The increase is 90,000 (+ 0.5%), while unemployment is at its lowest level since February 2020.
This brings Canada closer and closer to the pre-pandemic employment level of some 156,000 additional jobs. As was the case earlier this summer, the service sector, particularly accommodation and food services, and the private sector generated the most jobs in the past month.
In restaurants, there is even talk of a staff shortage, among other things because many workers have reoriented themselves. Some chains, the St-Hubert rotisseries for example, have dozens of positions to fill, while restaurateurs across the country are tearing up candidates.
Decline in unemployment
Overall, the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points in Canada to 7.1% in August, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. More good news: the increases in employment were concentrated in full-time work (+69,000; + 0.4%).
Thanks to summer jobs (+170,000; + 17.8%), the youngest are among the segments of the population that have benefited the most from the increase in employment, especially those aged 15 to 19.
And while in July 2021, public sector employment was down, it recovered in August (+30,000 jobs) and is back to its June 2021 level.
With a loss of 222,000 jobs, self-employment is however lagging behind other types of jobs and is below its pre-pandemic level.
Teleworking continues to decline
Although many workers have expressed a desire to continue working remotely, telework is showing a slight decline. In August 2021, it fell 1.8 percentage points to 24.0%. It was thus at its lowest since the start of the pandemic.
However, city centers may remain deserted for some time due to the fourth wave. In Quebec, without going through a decree as was the case in the spring of 2020, the government of François Legault recommends for the moment the extension of teleworking.