Canada’s economy added 157,000 new jobs last month, Statistics Canada says, enough to put employment numbers back above where they were before the pandemic started.
The jobs surge was more than twice as big as the 60,000 new jobs that economists were expecting.
It was also enough to push the jobless rate down two ticks to 6.9 per cent. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since the pandemic started.
Before the pandemic, Canada’s jobless rate was 5.6 per cent. It jumped up sharply in March, April and May of 2020, peaking at 13.7 per cent in May of last year, and has trended downward ever since.
While there are now the same number of jobs as there were before COVID-19 arrived in Canada, that doesn’t necessarily mean people are working as much as they were before.
The number of people working less than half the hours they would normally do is still 218,000 people higher than were doing so in February 2020. And the total number of hours worked by all employees is still 1.5 per cent below the pre-pandemic level, despite there being more jobs now.