With the gradual deconfinement, more and more companies are resuming their activities, but is this enough for this to be reflected in the statistics?

Unemployment rate: increase in Canada

For the third consecutive month, the unemployment rate rose again in May in Canada. Before the pandemic, the unemployment rate was 5.6%. It has gradually climbed in recent months to reach a peak of 13.7% in May, unprecedented in 75 years, according to experts.

Even worse: Statistics Canada estimates that including people who wanted to work but who did not look for work in the past month, the “adjusted” unemployment rate would be 19.6% for this period. Also according to the federal agency, if one counts in addition the employees who worked less than half of their usual hours, the rate of underestimation of the workforce increases to 35%.


Quebec unemployment rate down

While Quebec was the hardest hit by the pandemic and had the highest unemployment rate at the height of the crisis, the province recorded a 3.3% drop in May to 13 , 7%. During this period, approximately 231,000 jobs were created in La Belle Province, which represents 80% of job creation in the country for the month.


Store closures

Despite the revival of activities, several companies had to announce job cuts, or even the permanent closure of branches. The trend is particularly marked in the Canadian retail trade.

Some examples ? Sail announced the closure of six stores, including all Sportium stores, which represents the loss of 500 jobs. The Reitmans group also announced the end of the activities of two banners, Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity, thereby eliminating 2,000 jobs. Frank And Oak, for its part, has taken refuge from its creditors. Finally, the La Senza lingerie chain announced the closure of at least 30% of its stores, without specifying the number of employees affected by this measure.


Other industries hit hard

Bombardier Aviation cut 2,500 jobs, including 1,500 in Quebec, while WestJet laid off more than 3,300 employees in June. For its part, Aurora cannabis recently announced a reduction in its activities and the layoff of 700 employees.


At the height of the pandemic, Statistics Canada estimated that the sharp rise in the unemployment rate was mainly due to temporary layoffs and that the majority of the unemployed would return to work within less than six months. However, as the country emerges from the first wave, it must be noted that several companies have failed to weather the crisis or have had to reduce their workforce.

In several business sectors, particularly in catering and aviation, specialists believe that even more closings and layoffs are expected in the coming months.



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